Weep Not, Loyal Users. All Things Must Perish, Even Remarkable Tools Like WDSc

Development Tools
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

"But out of the gloom springs the holy

And beautiful Fountain of Tears."



I have a handkerchief in my pocket just in case someone wants to cry. The fact that IBM will stop marketing Websphere Development Studio Client (WDSc) and WDSc Advanced Edition (WDSc AE) and end support for these products altogether in just two years could cause a few tears to be shed.


Yet there's no need to weep, gentle readers, as the products have been rolled into the new Rational Developer for System i (RDi) and Rational Developer for System i for SOA Construction (RDi SOA). Most, if not all, of the features of WDSc AE have been rolled into RDi, which will sell for one sixth the price that WDSc currently sells for, according to IBM. Do you have to formally stop marketing a product when another you offer is more complete and far less expensive? No, because anyone who can add two plus two can figure out, "Oh, this is a much better deal!"


RDi is an Eclipse-based IDE for traditional i5/OS development. It has edit, compile, and debug for RPG, COBOL, C, and C++ and virtually all the capabilities formally found only in WDSc AE. RDi includes Application Diagram, screen designer technology preview phase 2, single sign-on functionality for Web applications using Enterprise Identity Mapping (EIM), an IBM i5/OS program call Java Platform 2, Enterprise Edition Connector (J2C), and integration with IBM Rational ClearCase Software for System i. Woo hoo!


Tools for Web development, however, will be included in RDi SOA. This bundle will include the basic RDi package as well as Rational Business Developer and be a complete solution for modern Web development and use of Web services. With it, developers "can rapidly extend existing RPG and COBOL applications to a Web or SOA environment," according to IBM.

Rational Developer for System i

In RDi, which is V7.1, there are a few enhancements to Application Diagram as it exists in WDSc today. These include functional zoom, the display of program calls, and CL support. With functional zoom, source member representations can be graphically expanded to see the call graph for subroutines and subprocedures for that source member.


As far as program calls go, the previous release of application diagram showed only bound procedure and subroutine calls. In this version, the Application Diagram is updated to also show program calls for ILE RPG, ILE COBOL, and CL source.


Regarding CL support, Application Diagram now scans CL source members and adds their information to the generated diagram.


There are also enhancements to i5/OS program call J2C connector, single sign-on using EIM for Web applications, screen designer technology preview phase 1, and ClearCase and RDi integration for System i. These are enumerated in detail on the IBM Web site in the article "Rational Developer for System i."

Rational Developer for System i for SOA Construction

RDi SOA is scheduled for release sometime during the first quarter (or before the end of March, which happens to be when COMMON is being held in Nashville, Tennessee.) As we've said, it combines RDi with IBM Rational Business Developer. What we didn't say is that it is a work in progress. The software development bundle promises to help developers extend existing RPG and COBOL applications to a Web or SOA environment. The objective is to help reduce time to market and risk by taking advantage of existing RPG assets. The idea is to transition to a services-based approach to deliver key business functions. The developer will want to to present core RPG transactions and any mission-critical applications as "services" while providing for the development of new, ad hoc services.


To do this, existing applications must be diagrammed with Application Diagram. However, if the i5/OS application contains non-ILE RPG and COBOL, Application Diagram probably won't be nimble enough to handle it. In that case, a third-party tool, such as those from Databorough (an IBM Rational Business Partner), including X-Analysis and X-Migrate, might be needed. Once the service programs have been identified, RDi SOA has wizards that will create the Web services. The Web Service wizard creates a Web service to call one or more RPG or COBOL server programs or service program procedures that are running on the operating system. According to IBM, the Web Service wizard "works in the context of a Web Project and allows for creation, deployment, testing, generation of a proxy, and publication to a Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) registry of Web services."


RDi SOA also includes a Program Call wizard that generates a Program Call Markup Language (PCML) file and JavaBeans technology to call any i5/OS program or service program procedure, such as one written in ILE RPG. When calling an i5/OS program or service program procedure from a Java application, the wizard prompts for information about program or service program objects, along with the parameters for the objects, and then creates the JavaBeans and PCML file to handle the call.


RDi SOA includes a number of other tools, including ones for Web development, a Web Interaction wizard, and Page Designer. Included with RDi SOA is a complete Eclipse integrated development environment for the EGL language. IBM describes EGL as, "an easy-to-learn modern language designed to shield i5/OS application programmers from the (hassles) of Web and SOA middleware. It has been designed to help accelerate development of sophisticated Web applications and service-oriented solutions. It lets developers leverage the strengths of J2EE technologies without having to learn their intricacies. RDi SOA comes with a rich set of Eclipse-based capabilities, including EGL source-level debugging, powerful smart editing, visual construction, graphical navigation, and automated generation of Create/Read/Update/Delete (CRUD) applications from United Modeling Language (UML) models or data schemas."


Why RDi SOA is a work in progress is because the ink on the box of the initial release won't be dry before enhancements are well underway. According to Linda Cole, IBM manager of Rational Enterprise Modernization, in her article on RDi SOA, these enhancements will include the following:

•·        EGL support for accessing data queues and data areas

•·        Ability to create portlets in EGL

•·        Message queuing (MQ) support through EGL language abstractions

•·        Invocation of ILE procedures

•·        Ability to create Web applications for deployment to the i5/OS Integrated Application Server (included in V6R1)

•·        JSF enhancements, such as AJAX, type ahead, and security

•·        IDE productivity enhancements, such as formatting, dynamic error markers, and debugger hot swapping

•·        Improved Web services development

•·        Ability to invoke EGL programs from Java tools


So there is a lot to look forward to in RDi and RDi SOA...enough, hopefully, so that those loyal to WDSc in its present form won't need my handkerchief now or even two years from now when it's officially "killed."

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



Support MC Press Online





  • White Paper: Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization

    SB Profound WP 5539

    If your business is thinking about modernizing your legacy IBM i (also known as AS/400 or iSeries) applications, you will want to read this white paper first!

    Download this paper and learn how Node.js can ensure that you:
    - Modernize on-time and budget - no more lengthy, costly, disruptive app rewrites!
    - Retain your IBM i systems of record
    - Find and hire new development talent
    - Integrate new Node.js applications with your existing RPG, Java, .Net, and PHP apps
    - Extend your IBM i capabilties to include Watson API, Cloud, and Internet of Things

    Read Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization Now!


  • Profound Logic Solution Guide

    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 companyare not aligned with the current IT environment.

    Get your copy of this important guide today!


  • 2022 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    Fortra2022 marks the eighth edition of the IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, Fortra captures data on how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT and cybersecurity initiatives it supports.

    Over the years, this survey has become a true industry benchmark, revealing to readers the trends that are shaping and driving the market and providing insight into what the future may bring for this technology.

  • Brunswick bowls a perfect 300 with LANSA!

    FortraBrunswick is the leader in bowling products, services, and industry expertise for the development and renovation of new and existing bowling centers and mixed-use recreation facilities across the entertainment industry. However, the lifeblood of Brunswick’s capital equipment business was running on a 15-year-old software application written in Visual Basic 6 (VB6) with a SQL Server back-end. The application was at the end of its life and needed to be replaced.
    With the help of Visual LANSA, they found an easy-to-use, long-term platform that enabled their team to collaborate, innovate, and integrate with existing systems and databases within a single platform.
    Read the case study to learn how they achieved success and increased the speed of development by 30% with Visual LANSA.


  • The Power of Coding in a Low-Code Solution

    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:

    • Discover the benefits of Low-code's quick application creation
    • Understand the differences in model-based and language-based Low-Code platforms
    • Explore the strengths of LANSA's Low-Code Solution to Low-Code’s biggest drawbacks



  • Why Migrate When You Can Modernize?

    LANSABusiness 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.
    In this white paper, you’ll learn how to think of these issues as opportunities rather than problems. We’ll explore motivations to migrate or modernize, their risks and considerations you should be aware of before embarking on a (migration or modernization) project.
    Lastly, we’ll discuss how modernizing IBM i applications with optimized business workflows, integration with other technologies and new mobile and web user interfaces will enable IT – and the business – to experience time-added value and much more.


  • UPDATED: Developer Kit: Making a Business Case for Modernization and Beyond

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Having trouble getting management approval for modernization projects? The problem may be you're not speaking enough "business" to them.

    This Developer Kit provides you study-backed data and a ready-to-use business case template to help get your very next development project approved!

  • What to Do When Your AS/400 Talent Retires

    FortraIT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators is small.

    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:

    • Why IBM i skills depletion is a top concern
    • How leading organizations are coping
    • Where automation will make the biggest impact


  • Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.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. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

    • Different tools to develop Node.js applications on IBM i
    • Debugging Node.js
    • The basics of Git and tools to help those new to it
    • Using as a pre-built development environment



  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.



  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
    There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • Security Bulletin: Malware Infection Discovered on IBM i Server!

    SB PowerTech WC GenericMalicious programs can bring entire businesses to their knees—and IBM i shops are not immune. It’s critical to grasp the true impact malware can have on IBM i and the network that connects to it. Attend this webinar to gain a thorough understanding of the relationships between:

    • Viruses, native objects, and the integrated file system (IFS)
    • Power Systems and Windows-based viruses and malware
    • PC-based anti-virus scanning versus native IBM i scanning

    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. IBM i security expert Sandi Moore explains the facts, including how to ensure you're fully protected and compliant with regulations such as PCI.



  • Encryption on IBM i Simplified

    SB PowerTech WC GenericDB2 Field Procedures (FieldProcs) were introduced in IBM i 7.1 and have greatly simplified encryption, often without requiring any application changes. Now you can quickly encrypt sensitive data on the IBM i including PII, PCI, PHI data in your physical files and tables.
    Watch this webinar to learn how you can quickly implement encryption on the IBM i. During the webinar, security expert Robin Tatam will show you how to:

    • Use Field Procedures to automate encryption and decryption
    • Restrict and mask field level access by user or group
    • Meet compliance requirements with effective key management and audit trails


  • Lessons Learned from IBM i Cyber Attacks

    SB PowerTech WC GenericDespite the many options IBM has provided to protect your systems and data, many organizations still struggle to apply appropriate security controls.
    In this webinar, you'll get insight into how the criminals accessed these systems, the fallout from these attacks, and how the incidents could have been avoided by following security best practices.

    • Learn which security gaps cyber criminals love most
    • Find out how other IBM i organizations have fallen victim
    • Get the details on policies and processes you can implement to protect your organization, even when staff works from home

    You will learn the steps you can take to avoid the mistakes made in these examples, as well as other inadequate and misconfigured settings that put businesses at risk.



  • The Power of Coding in a Low-Code Solution

    SB PowerTech WC GenericWhen 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:

    • Discover the benefits of Low-code's quick application creation
    • Understand the differences in model-based and language-based Low-Code platforms
    • Explore the strengths of LANSA's Low-Code Solution to Low-Code’s biggest drawbacks



  • The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security

    SB Profound WC Generic The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security
    Here’s the harsh reality: cybersecurity pros have to get their jobs right every single day, while an attacker only has to succeed once to do incredible damage.
    Whether that’s thousands of exposed records, millions of dollars in fines and legal fees, or diminished share value, it’s easy to judge organizations that fall victim. IBM i enjoys an enviable reputation for security, but no system is impervious to mistakes.
    Join this webinar to learn about the biggest errors made when securing a Power Systems server.
    This knowledge is critical for ensuring integrity of your application data and preventing you from becoming the next Equifax. It’s also essential for complying with all formal regulations, including SOX, PCI, GDPR, and HIPAA
    Watch Now.

  • Comply in 5! Well, actually UNDER 5 minutes!!

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    TRY 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.

    Request your trial now!

  • Backup and Recovery on IBM i: Your Strategy for the Unexpected

    FortraRobot automates the routine 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:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. 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:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Easiest Way to Save Money? Stop Printing IBM i Reports

    FortraRobot 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:

    - Automated report distribution
    - View online without delay
    - Browser interface to make notes
    - Custom retention capabilities
    - Seamless product integration
    Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.