Tue, Apr
0 New Articles

RDi Becomes Rational Developer for Power Systems Software

Analysis of News Events
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Rational Team Concert for Power now caters to RPG developers, according to IBM.


IBM announced upgrades to both RDi and Rational Team Concert last month, giving developers on the IBM i platform more choices and making it just a little easier for them to be a part of the larger enterprise application development environment, according to IBM. They will also have to get used to a new name for their development tool.

The new tools could help bridge divisions between the IBM i world and the other application development teams in a mixed-platform enterprise, according to Charles Chu, director of enterprise modernization for IBM Rational Software.


"I think it's very difficult to be integrated in with the rest of the enterprise and the rest of the development environment if you're using a unique tool just for you that no one else uses," says Chu. "If you're using a source-code management tool that no one else uses and no one can see what you do, you effectively create a barrier for yourself," he says.


RDi, which provides development tools for RPG and COBOL on IBM i, will now be called IBM Rational Developer for Power Systems Software V7.5 (see Joe Pluta's article "We Finally Have a Green-Screen Development Tool!" for details about the specific enhancements to this product). It's part of a family of development tools from Rational that includes the following, in addition to IBM Rational Developer for Power Systems Software:

  • IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software, which provides Java and Java Enterprise Edition tools
  • IBM Rational Business Developer (no name change), which provides EGL development tools
  • IBM Rational Application Developer, which provides tools for Web, Web Services, and SOA designers and developers as does IBM Rational Business Developer
  • IBM Rational Team Concert for Power, which provides application lifecycle management for Power Systems development


Enhancements to Rational Developer for Power Systems, which Pluta is cleverly calling RDPi, includes visual editing of DDS display and printer file source code, among other changes:

  • Integrated error feedback for compiling source with embedded SQL statements
  • Improved debug support for attaching to dynamic jobs
  • Integration with IBM Rational Team Concert for Power V2.0
  • Ability to store non-source-based objects in an i project, transfer them between the project and target library, and version them inside Team Concert


Only just renamed in 2008 from WDSc, IBM Rational Developer for Power Systems Software has a number of feature sets that can be purchased individually. The IBM Rational RPG and COBOL Development Tools for i is a feature of the larger product that replaces RDi as IBM's top software development environment for IBM i native application development. RDi users with current maintenance can obtain the new features at no charge. See the IBM announcement.


Chu said that Rational has updated its compilers to take advantage of the new POWER7 chip architecture "so the value is that our IBM i installed base can also enjoy the benefits of the new hardware." Chu also said the company has released the pieces for RPG and COBOL development and has issued a statement of direction for COBOL and C/C++ development features on AIX.


According to Chu, IBM Rational has segmented the tools by market "where appropriate," and there is different pricing to address the different market segments. For a customer that wants RPG-only capabilities, there is one price, which, he claimed, would be competitive with the market price for development tools on that platform. If the user wants a different platform feature set, say for Java, it will be a different price, also market-based. "When we have C/C++, it will be priced appropriately relative to C/C++ IDE providers," Chu said. Users in one forum speculated pricing for the RPG feature could be above $1,500, but a page on the IBM Web site reported it as $860 for a user license.


Chu's comments about integrating orphan developers into the larger application development environment were focused around what IBM Rational Team Concert can do for an individual developer as well as for an organization as a whole. There are different editions of Rational Team Concert, one of which is even free (Rational Team Concert Express-C is free for 10 developers). Rational Team Concert for Power Systems Software, built on the new open Jazz platform, now runs natively on IBM i, Chu said, and it has been upgraded to accommodate the unique ways that RPG developers process code. "There are certain processes and expectations of a traditional RPG developer for how one does application development—check in, check out—that are unique to IBM i, so we've baked in those processes and that set of functionality into Rational Team Concert for Power in this release," said Chu. "Just as you can imagine, the C and C++ folks have a certain way of doing things, as do the COBOL developers for z/OS, so what we've done is that we've added that capability for IBM i in Rational Team Concert."


IBM believes that Rational Team Concert will become an increasingly important product in the future as companies begin to realize how much money they can save by having a collaborative development environment that provides support for geographically distributed teams on a common platform. There is even an IBM Rational Team Concert ROI Calculator available on the IBM Web site for users to help estimate potential savings.



Chris Smith

Chris Smith was the Senior News Editor at MC Press Online from 2007 to 2012 and was responsible for the news content on the company's Web site. Chris has been writing about the IBM midrange industry since 1992 when he signed on with Duke Communications as West Coast Editor of News 3X/400. With a bachelor's from the University of California at Berkeley, where he majored in English and minored in Journalism, and a master's in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Chris later studied computer programming and AS/400 operations at Long Beach City College. An award-winning writer with two Maggie Awards, four business books, and a collection of poetry to his credit, Chris began his newspaper career as a reporter in northern California, later worked as night city editor for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, and went on to edit a national cable television trade magazine. He was Communications Manager for McDonnell Douglas Corp. in Long Beach, Calif., before it merged with Boeing, and oversaw implementation of the company's first IBM desktop publishing system there. An editor for MC Press Online since 2007, Chris has authored some 300 articles on a broad range of topics surrounding the IBM midrange platform that have appeared in the company's eight industry-leading newsletters. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Support MC Press Online

$0.00 Raised:

Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: