AD Repackaging in V6R1

Development Tools
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A lot will change in V6R1, and perhaps the biggest change will be in the way you pay for your development tools.


Welcome to the brave new world. The old tier-based model that we have been used to and that IBM was actually moving us toward in recent releases is now gone. Instead, IBM has wholly embraced the user-based pricing model rampant in the industry, even though there's not even a consensus on what constitutes a user (I'll get into that a little bit more a little later).


Regardless, though, of the exact details, you need to know what's coming down the pike as far as the packaging and pricing of the tools, because it will definitely change your tool costs and especially how those costs are perceived by management. The new packaging may seem complicated, but really it's pretty straightforward if you take it one piece at a time, which is what I'll do. I'm going to tell you what the packaging is from the standpoint of a brand new developer. That will set the baseline. Then I'll explain the entitlements for current license holders. And finally, I'll cover some of the little twists and turns, including some things that we hope are coming.

From the Green Side of the World

First, let's take a look at development from the green-screen perspective. Today, we have one primary licensed product for development, 5722WDS. That product includes quite a bit under the covers; it not only encompasses all the compilers, but also includes most of the application development (AD) tools. Prior to V6R1, IBM actually was consolidating AD components; by the time of V5R4, the 5722WDS product included nearly everything you needed to develop software, even all the compilers and nearly all the development tools. Note I say "nearly," because the SQL developer's toolkit was and still is a separate item.


As of V6R1, that changes drastically. The basic product has been broken down into three components: the ILE compilers, the "heritage" (or OPM) compilers, and the Application Development ToolSet (ADTS). Each is separately priced and user-based. The ILE component includes all of the ILE compilers: RPG, COBOL, CL, even C and C++. The "heritage" compilers are the S/36 and S/38 compilers and also the RPG/400 (OPM RPG) and OPM COBOL compilers. Finally, ADTS includes all of the green-screen tools, such as PDM and SEU, that we've taken for granted for so long. You might be surprised by what's included in ADTS; you can see the whole list at IBM's ADTS page. But one tool that has been causing a bit of a ruckus is DFU, especially since WRKDBF, the popular freeware alternative, isn't guaranteed to work on V6R1. But we'll address that in a moment.


If you're a green-screen developer and have no desire to ever use the GUI tools, then IBM has drawn a very specific line in the sand for you: ILE or OPM. Because they will charge you for either one. I haven't see an official document from IBM, but the current prices being quoted on the Web are $1,295 for the OPM compilers and $1,795 for the ILE compilers. That's per user, and I'll touch on that in a moment. But basically, if you follow the rules, a programmer who is developing OPM programs will cost about $2,100. An ILE programmer will cost a bit more at $2,600, but the real killer is the programmer who needs both: tooling will set you back a whopping $3,900 per seat.


So IBM has really provided you an incentive to make a decision: either go OPM or go ILE, but don't sit in the middle. And in fact, this may help shops stuck in limbo between the two in their decision-making as to whether to move to ILE. What it won't do is help those with vendor-supplied packages mired in OPM while they have moved forward into ILE for new development. But then again, unless you're maintaining old OPM code, you don't need the compiler.

On to the GUI

Next we have the PC-based tooling. This is where the announcement can be confusing and frustrating. Understand right off the bat that IBM painted themselves into a very bad corner when they gave away unlimited licenses of WDSC for free. We can argue about whether the cost was bundled into the ridiculous prices we've paid over the years for hardware and software, but the past is the past, and a business model with zero income simply doesn't hold up in the today's world. Now that all development tools are under one roof, IBM was able to make some decisions, and here's what they did.


First, they broke out the System i extensions from WDSC and repackaged them as something called Rational Developer for System i, or RDi. Be very clear: Almost everything that made WDSC what it was is gone from this package. It really is in total a GUI replacement for ADTS. As such, it is priced exactly the same. If you want PDM and SEU, you buy ADTS; if you want RSE and LPEX, you get a seat of RDi. It's really that simple. So basically, those that use the GUI development tools will now pay for the development of those tools. And this is just for green-screen development: 5250 displays using RPG, CL, COBOL, just like we've done forever. Just better tools to do it.


Next, they've packaged their EGL offering, known as Rational Business Developer (RBD), as part of a bundle with RDi and called it RDi-SOA. IBM is heavily invested in EGL as a complete business application development package, especially for Web-enabled applications. Of course, you and I both know that nothing beats RPG for business logic, but the good news is that EGL as a Web development tool puts everything else to shame, and it integrates seamlessly with RPG. It's not cheap; the number I've seen is $2,000 a seat, which means a $1,200 bump over standard RDi. For everything that's packed into that package, $1,200 is not an unreasonable figure, although it's a bit pricy for my taste. I wish it were lower; I want the cost for moving from green-screen to GUI application development to be as low as possible. But it's lower than today's cost of $1,500 for Rational Business Developer extension (RBDe), which is the component that adds EGL to WDSC.


The third component of the unbundling process is the HATS for 5250 Toolkit. As I understand it, HATS is now a completely separate, chargeable product but I've seen no information on pricing. This offering contains the HATS and WebFacing components, and that's about all I know about it.

OK, Some Real-World Examples

It will probably help to walk through a couple of examples. First, if you were a single-person shop running a P05, you would currently be paying $3,650 list for 5722WDS. With the new pricing structure, you would be able to get the ADTS/ILE package for roughly $2,600 list, which is actually a tidy little savings. However, since everything is priced per seat, as soon as you add a second developer, you are now at $5,200, and you've jumped quite a bit.


Note: If you've already got a machine and you're properly entitled (I'll cover that in a moment), then all you have to worry about is the annual Software Maintenance Agreement (SWMA) charges which run about 20 percent, so the two-person scenario above is really $730 a year vs. $1,040 a year, a $310 increase. That's really not that big a number.


Here's another example. Five developers on a P10, all working on an old OPM application. Today, the cost is $10,000 list, while the cost for five ADTS/OPM seats is $10,500. Again, not an unreasonable number. But make that, say, eight ADTS/ILE developers and you end up at nearly $21,000. That's a pretty significant jump. And the price really skyrockets if all those developers need both OPM and ILE; the cost jumps to over $30,000. So, as you can see, the issue is very much going to be one of making sure that people get the tools they need. I don't like this particular part of the deal, because it now means developers having to justify the use of certain tools, which can stifle creativity. But that's another issue I'll address in a moment.


All in all, if you look at the pricing, the places where they really bite you are well-defined. First, if you are developing in a mixed OPM/ILE environment, your costs just skyrocketed. But even more, if you are running more developers on a box than IBM "intended," then you will get dinged. Now, IBM itself is a little shaky on what the intended number means, and I'll get to that in a moment. But if you currently have 20 developers on a P10, look to break out some serious coin.

Entitlement and Minimums

OK, on to what this means to you, the longtime loyal midrange customer. Entitlement is the name of the game here, and entitlement basically identifies how many of what you are entitled to. If you have an existing 5722WDS license, then you will be entitled to a certain number of seats to all three of the 57161WDS components: ILE compilers, heritage compilers, and ADTS. It's almost exactly four per tier: four for P05, eight for P10, and so on up to P40, which has 20 entitlements. P50 jumps to 30, and if you've got one of those grand behemoth P60 machines, you get 40 developer seats.


Now, right off the bat, you might think those numbers are a little low. I don't know; you'll have to tell me. But IBM's position is that they're losing money on people buying big production machines and then stuffing all their developers on a little P05. And we all know that happens. So this will alleviate that particular issue.


On to minimums. Right now, as far as we understand, user seats are named user seats, not concurrent users. This is a real pain, because it means you either have to buy a seat for every person who uses the tool, even if they use it only sparingly, or you have to get around it by, say, assigning all compiles to a single user profile.


The latter actually sounds intriguing, doesn't it? Maybe you can just set up one user profile and do all your compiles that way. No can do. IBM has a minimum number of licenses for each tier. The P05 is just one seat, but the numbers go up pretty quickly: three for a P10, four for a P20, ten for a P30, and then increments of five developer seats per tier after that.


Interestingly, the minimum number of developers at the nominal price of $3,900 a seat that we calculated for ADTS, ILE, and OPM is somewhat cheaper than the current tier price for 5722WDS at each level, except for the lowest tiers where it is roughly equivalent.


Comparison: Minimum Fully Loaded V6R1 Seats vs. Current V5R4 Tiered Pricing


Minimum Seats
























I think IBM has done a good job setting the minimums so that you don't have to buy more than you already have, or if you do, it's only a little more. However, the minimums are smaller than the entitlements, and you might be tempted to cash in all your entitlements. You need to be careful with that idea. It's clear that if you have more users than you are entitled to, you will be paying a big premium. But what's not so apparent is that even if you aren't over the entitlement level, your SWMA may jump.


Comparison: Entitled Seats at V6R1 vs. Current V5R4 Pricing


Entitled Seats






























For example, take a look at someone who cashes in all four entitlements for OPM development (and remember, this is just ADTS and OPM; it doesn't even include the ILE compilers). The base amount of your entitlement is actually $8,400, so unless I'm mistaken, you'll see your SWMA go up from $730 a year to $1,680 a year, or more than double. ILE will nearly triple your SWMA. And I'm not even including a column for selecting both compiler components.


So I suggest some real care be taken when identifying the correct components to license. And that brings us to the final section.

Things Heard in Cyberspace

A number of things have been floating around the mailing lists and forums. Foremost is the idea of RDi vs. ADTS. Originally, it looked as if moving to RDi was going to be a full-price endeavor, even for entitled customers. So, even if you were entitled to ADTS, you would have to pay an additional $800 per seat to move to RDi. Recent statements by IBM seem to have softened that stance, and from what has been posted, IBM will provide a path to migrate ADTS licenses to RDi. This is a great option, because it allows shops to move users one at a time as their skills grow. I hope this is truly going to be the case.


Another issue has been that many users simply can't do without ADTS. The reasons range from the speed of PDM in large lists to the fact that they need to use DFU on a daily basis (I told you I'd get back to DFU). These issues will determine whether your developers will be able to move to RDi or not. That's why some of us in the community have making a concerted effort to poll users for their reasons why they wouldn't move to RDi.


Make no mistake, RDi is the future of the platform. But since IBM is pricing it in such a way that it's an either/or proposition (either you get ADTS or you get RDi), I think few will be able to justify the extra cost for both. And so, you are going to need to tell IBM which of the ADTS functions features you use on a regular basis that need to be included in RDi, because right now they don't know.


One thing that might help the situation is if IBM were to include one seat of the ADTS tooling on every machine with a compiler. That would allow someone to use the tools in a one-off or emergency situation without having to actually license it; developers would have access to DFU or whatever for simple tasks. Even more, I'd like to extend that idea to IBM including one copy of all of the tools, as an evaluation. That way, the "innovator" in a shop can play with all the tools and can then present a case to management for more seats.


The new licensing model is bound to cause controversy, but hopefully what you've read here will help you make the right decisions.