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12 January 2012, 15:41

IBM updates EGL Web Developer Tools

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IBM has released an updated version of its Enterprise Generation Language (EGL) as part of its updated Eclipse EGL Web Developer Tools 0.7 (EWDT). The open source EWDT is designed to simplify web application development using a combination of web services and JavaScript (Dojo and others). The development environment is of particular interest to businesses that are looking to migrate classical COBOL/RPG applications to current Java and JavaScript environments using solutions from the open source community.

The EWDT is based on the EGL Community Edition, originally announced in 2008 and available since 2009, which is in turn a free subset of IBM's Rational Business Developer suite. According to the developers, the EWDT has acquired various functions from both tools, and IBM added new features such as a Jetty-based test server (that allows client-server applications to be tested within the IDE).

The EGL language is suitable as a bridging technology between classical COBOL or RPG development (for example on IBM's i platform) and (modern) Java and JavaScript programming. The language is, therefore, of interest to businesses wanting to migrate their (mainframe) programs to a modern IT infrastructure. Scott Rich, Rational CTO for Northeast Europe, presented details on this at the EGL Conference in Wiesbaden in April 2011. Apparently, IBM already plans to support direct access to RPG programs via EGL services in the forthcoming EWDT version 0.8 – data can currently only be accessed via XML or JSON unless the existing RPG/COBOL system offers direct access.

For IBM, the decision to make EGL available as open source is an important step towards expanding its own customer and developer base. Existing customers apparently also expressed concerns about a proprietary variant in view of potential vendor lock-in.

Version 0.7 of the EGL Web Developer Tools is now available to download, under the terms of the Eclipse Public License (EPL), and the documentation offers tutorials for getting started with EGL and various sample applications.


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