WebSphere Studio 5 Opens Its Doors for Developers

Tools allow developers to build Java-based Web services and also upgrade legacy applications written in COBOL and PL1.

IBM Corp. Tuesday announced the tools environment for the upcoming Version 5 of its WebSphere application server, IBM WebSphere Studio.

Stefan Van Overtveldt, IBMs director of technical marketing for WebSphere, said the release of WebSphere Studio Version 5 marks the initial product release from the companys WebSphere Version 5 family of products announced in May.

"We chose to start out by delivering the tools first," Van Overtveldt said. "Customers said they wanted to be able to develop and test applications first before the run-time became available."

Van Overtveldt said IBM based WebSphere Studio Version 5 on foundation of the Eclipse 2.0 open-source development tools platform. A key feature of the new version is the WebSphere Studio Enterprise Developer, which "brings together the world of Java and Web services development with the world of legacy applications," he said. Developers can build Java-based Web services and also upgrade legacy applications written in COBOL and PL1 using WebSphere Studio 5, he said.

In fact, Van Overtveldt said, developers can take J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) applications or even COBOL or PL1 applications "and turn them into a Web service and then generate a workflow between them," using the new technology.

This capability comes through support for the pre-cursor to the Business Process Execution Language for Web Services standard, also known as BPEL4WS, which IBM co-developed.

WebSphere Studio 5 also supports J2EE 1.3, version 7.2 of Red Hat Linux and SuSE Linux, Macromedia ColdFusion MX for WebSphere and a host of Eclipse plug-ins, Van Overtveldt said.

In addition, WebSphere Studio 5 gives IBM a strategic advantage over its primary application server rival, BEA Systems Inc., of San Jose, Calif. He said IBMs offering represents a common, integrated development environment, whereas BEA requires technology of its own, from Borland Software Corp. and TogetherSoft Corp. to make up its development environment, he said.

WebSphere Studio Application Developer Version 5 is now available for $3,499 per user; WebSphere Studio Enterprise Developer V5 is available Sept. 30 for $7,500 per user; Macromedia ColdFusion MX for IBM WebSphere Application Server is available for $4,000 per processor; and WebSphere Studio Application Monitor for zOS, and WebSphere Studio Workload Simulator for zOS will be available in October, the company said.

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