> From: Reeve
> WebSphere may be IBM's Grand Design but the learning curve is steep,

You haven't had the right teacher.  I teach RPG programmers how to build
web apps in an hour and a half.  I teach architectures in a week.  The
amount of Java required to write a web application is roughly equivalent
to the amount of CL required to build an ERP application.

> it requires lots of power,

That depends.  Java runs better on a 270 than a 170, and better on an i5
than an iSeries.  The JVM needs dedicated memory; 512MB is pretty much
the minimum.  So an underpowered iSeries isn't going to like running

If you're absolutely up against the wall on hardware, you can put a
Linux box on the side of your machine for about $1000.  Of course, that
means you need to know how to run Linux and if you're complaining about
learning a couple hundred lines of Java then you'd probably have a
seizure learning Linux.

> and I have yet to see a clear, concise
> statement of WebSphere's current benefits

WebSphere provides browser-based access to business logic written in
RPG.  There's your current benefits.  Browser-based access to allow you
to move into the future (not to mention eliminating the interactive
tax), while at the same time 95% or more of your code is written in RPG,
leveraging your current skill set.  And you can sit at that combination
of components until you retire.  BUT, if you're so inclined, you can
also move ahead into more and more Java, taking advantage of existing
libraries that let you do graphics and PDFs and email and whatever else
you might want to do.  But you don't have to.

> Many of us don't have the
> resources,  inclination, or background to struggle with the WebSphere
> infrastructure.  Any moderately competent RPG programmer can learn a
> little HTML (or find some high school kind to do it) and put together
> a decent business application in a couple of days.

Any competent RPG programmer can learn enough Java to write a web
application.  Hell, you can buy my WDSC book and have it walk you
through an entire application from the ground up.  If you can't do this,
it's not the language's fault.

> I suggest the following: formal support for CGIDEV2, additional
> functionality for CGIDEV2, getting VisualAge RPG up to V5R3,
> application development tools tailored to support the strengths of
> i5/OS, a utility to create workable HTML from DDS (use the Webfacing
> engine), and a Red Book with lots of practical (meaning "not written
> by lab folks") examples designed to illustrate principles, concepts,
> and approaches (two examples of useful topics: how to redesign/rewite
> a multi-format inquiry screen program to work in the Web enviroment
> and how to redesign/rewrite a program to manage a persistent
> connection for an update program, this one bring very important).

JavaServer Pages are the DDS for HTML.  If you've ever been at one of my
sessions, you'll hear me explain it.  A display file is a bunch of
literals on a page with holes in it for the data, while a JavaServer
Page is a bunch of HTML on a page with holes in it for the data.  You
fill a buffer and write it to a display file, you fill a bean and send
it to a JSP.

Like I say, buy my WDSC book and you will be walked through an entire
application.  Then, if you still don't think you can put together your
own architecture, hire me for a few days and I'll personally walk you
through the entire thing.


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