IBM's new WebSphere Studio Application Developer tool, released on Tuesday, adds support for the latest Java technologies and its open-source Eclipse development platform.
But corporate users may find the new enterprise version, which officially debuts Monday, more helpful.
WebSphere Studio Enterprise Developer goes beyond Java, adding support for the Cobol, PL1 and EGL programming languages. IBM was able to bring its legacy VisualAge Cobol, PL1 and Generator tools into the WebSphere fold through its Eclipse platform, which permits multiple tools to be used through a single interface, according to Bernie Spang, director of WebSphere Studio marketing.
"What this environment provides is the final stage of gluing all their software development languages under one development environment," said John Meyer, an analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Giga Information Group Inc. He said that should be good news for the developer groups at IBM-centric shops.
"From a training and familiarity perspective, everyone will work from the same [integrated development environment]. They'll just use different languages," Meyer said.
The new enterprise version of WebSphere Studio also features support for the open-source Apache Struts framework, which lets developers visually model Web applications. Struts can help developers separate the client and business logic portions of their applications and manage the interactions between them, Meyer said.
Other new features in both the Application Developer and Enterprise Developer editions of WebSphere Studio Version 5 include support for Java 2 Enterprise Edition 1.3, Version 7.2 of both Red Hat Linux and SuSE Linux and emerging Web services standards such as a precursor to the Web Services Business Process Language. The tools also ship with a built-in developer version of IBM's WebSphere Application Server Version 5.
WebSphere Studio Application Developer sells for US$3,499 per user; WebSphere Studio Enterprise Developer costs $7,500 per user.
Also on Tuesday, IBM made available Macromedia Inc.'s ColdFusion MX for its WebSphere Application Server, so that applications written using ColdFusion will be able to run natively in WebSphere. That product sells for $4,000 per processor.
Next month, IBM plans to make available a WebSphere Studio Application Monitor and Workload Simulator to help with testing and monitoring of applications running on its zOS and OS/390 systems.