Has your favorite Rational Developer for z Systems (RDz) web page disappeared?
Have you encountered the name IBM Developer for z Systems (IDz) and wonderedâŠ Is this the same as RDz?
If so then keep reading and hopefully I can answer your questions. On September 9, 2016 we released IBM Developer for z Systems (IDz) as the next generation of Rational Developer for z Systems (RDz). If you canât wait to hear more about IDz then skip the next paragraph. If you enjoy history, then the next paragraph is for you.
As many of you know this is not the first time we have changed our name. The original base offering was released back in 2003 under the name WebSphere Studio Enterprise Developer (WSED). Then in 2005 it was renamed to WebSphere Developer for zSeries (WDz) and in 2007 there was a slight change to WebSphere Developer for System z. When the team moved from WebSphere to Rational later that year we introduced the name everyone has come to know and love, Rational Developer for System z (RDz). We have stuck by that name for the past 8 years with only a minor adjustment in 2015 when we decided that âz Systemsâ was a better description since it does not matter to RDz whether you are running a z9, z10, z13, etc. Also in 2015 we introduced IBM Explorer for z/OS Aqua which brought RDz closer than ever to the rest of the z Systems Software suite, such as IBM File Manager (FM), IBM Fault Analyzer (FA), and the CICS Tools. As some people do when they become part of a new family, we decided we should change our name. Of course IDz continues to support Rational offerings, such as Rational Team Concert (RTC), just as we have in the past but we believe the new name better represents our position as the application development platform for z Systems Software.
This brings us up to date and to the introduction of IBM Developer for z Systems v14.0, our latest Eclipse-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for efficiently creating and maintaining z/OS applications. Do not be confused by the version number change, you have not just awoken from a long Rip Van Winkle style nap. The last version of RDz was 9.5.1 and we continue to release service updates for that version such as RDz v184.108.40.206. However, using v14.0 for IDz again more clearly aligns the offering with its new brethren. Since the IDz client is based on Eclipse 4.4, just like all RDz 9.5 versions, it is possible to update the client software using the Update button of Installation Manager (IM). While doing so do not be alarmed by the IM panel which says that RDz will be removed and IDz will be installed, this is necessary to handle the complete product rename, but you will still have all the same features you enjoyed previously. One item to note is that version 14 of IDz does have its own Authorized User license and thus a new license file will need to be applied after updating. Even if you are using Floating Licenses, you will need to press Manage Licenses within IM and select the button to enable floating license support. If you prefer to keep the old version of RDz around, then you certainly can use IM to install IDz into a new package group, just press the Install button instead of the Update button.
While the base features of RDz can be found in IDz, there are differences in how you go about obtaining them. For example, the base RDz software and licenses were obtained through Passport Advantage and service updates were obtained through Fix Central. The IDz base software and service updates are obtained from the Downloads page of the Mainframe Dev Center, while the licenses are still obtained from Passport Advantage. In addition, many of you told us that you preferred to get service updates for the Developer for z Systems host software through Shopz, where you get PTFs for all your other z software, so we listened.
We have also heard your requests for an enterprise level development and debugging solution that supports both a mixture of developers who quickly adopt the IDE and others who remain working under ISPF. This solution is known as IBM Developer for z Systems Enterprise Edition V14.0 (IDz EE) and it combines IDz with IBM Debug for z Systems V14.0 (formerly known as Debug Tool for z/OS V13.1) in one product. For more information on how to become entitled to IDz EE please contact your IBM account representative and they will help you understand how to move up from RDz and/or IBM Debug Tool. Of course if you want the most comprehensive solution for your enterprise, we offer Application Delivery Foundation for z Systems V3.0 (ADFz) which is a bundle of IDz EE, File Manager, Fault Analyzer and Application Performance Analyzer.
Now that you understand the reasons behind our transformation from RDz to IDz, it is important for you to know that IDz version 14 is not just the result of a renaming and repackaging exercise. IBM Developer for z Systems contains many new enhancements including a next generation debugger which allows debugging of 64-bit applications and optimized load modules, visual debugging for increased program understanding, and the setting of deferred breakpoints. For a quick look at some of these features in action check out the Videos page of the Mainframe Dev Center. Besides enhancing the debug experience in IDz, we also delivered many Requests For Enhancement (RFE) submitted by our user community. These RFEs include but are not limited to, additional capabilities for unit testing z Systems applications, improved integration with RTC, FM and FA, the ability to choose monospaced fonts for use with Menu Manager and the z Systems Data Editor, JCL editor support for new syntax introduced with z/OS version 2 releases, as well as improvements when accessing job output.
Finally we have tried to incorporate both IDz and RDz content into the same web pages when appropriate, such as the IBM Knowledge Center, the Product Library, and our Version Compatibility page. If you still have questions, or you just want to provide some feedback, leave a comment below.