IBM Announcement Letter No. ZP93-0585 dated October 12, 1993.
All products will be shipped on CD-ROM. Order Type Part Number Number Program Name ---------- ------- ---------------------------------- 5681-387 87G7044 VisualAge 5681-388 87G7049 VisualAge Team 5622-271 87G7054 VisualAge COBOL Component 5622-270 87G7059 VisualAge Multi-Database Component 5622-272 87G7064 VisualAge Communications/Transaction Component 5622-269 87G7069 VisualAge Multimedia Component
VisualAge is an integrated, application development environment designed especially for client-server, mission-critical, line of business applications through visual programming and construction-from- components technologies. It provides a series of high productivity, OS/2 based power tools for the development of applications targeting OS/2 execution systems. IBM plans to make VisualAge for Windows and VisualAge System Object Model (SOM) support for OS/2 available during the first half of 1994.
There are two base products in the VisualAge family:
Using popular relational databases, VisualAge enables customers to develop client-server database applications. In a server-based development environment it can produce complete on-line transaction processing (OLTP) client-server applications for OS/2. This functionality enables the customer to build workstation applications that access remote transaction programs through a variety of network protocols and access data in remote and local relational databases.
VisualAge provides the following functionality:
VisualAge's open architecture enables the developers of GUI tools, database and communications support products and class libraries to write to published APIs.
VisualAge is an application development environment and suite of power tools which introduce technologies that unlock the complex world of application development in a client/server environment. These technologies are based on a visual construction-from-components architecture and enable the development of the client portion of client/server applications with very complex GUIs.
Developers are confronted by ever changing user requirements and a growing user base. This combination necessitates an integrated development environment with a robust suite of tools so that applications can be developed rapidly. Within its object-oriented development environment, VisualAge provides visual programming. This technology enables the developer to work with the end user in an iterative manner to develop user interfaces and accurately capture changing user requirements.
The reuse of proven designs and stable code is one element of object-oriented programming that puts real power into the user's hands and VisualAge provides many opportunities for reuse. VisualAge was developed using VisualAge itself. This assures that the design and code supplied with VisualAge have been tested and optimized. The ability to reuse existing code reduces development cycle time and, because many of the components can be reused without change, drastically reduces errors.
Object-oriented technology is emerging as the most promising avenue to solve the rightsizing and client-server challenges of the future. VisualAge utilizes this technology to simplify the development of applications for OS/2 in a graphical environment using construction from components. Additionally, more experienced developers have the benefit of the underlying Smalltalk language including an integrated suite of productivity tools (editors, browsers, debuggers, inspectors). VisualAge Team adds team programming capabilities to the environment, multiplying the value derived from the technologies. These two products will enable developers of various skill and experience levels to create mission critical client/server applications. VisualAge opens the door to these technologies and, over time, IBM plans to address additional development environments and expand its communications and database access capabilities.
As part of the development validation process, IBM will initially
ship VisualAge V1
to a limited and selected set of customers for the purpose of
product quality validation within specific customer operating
When product quality is confirmed, IBM will announce availability and allow unrestricted ordering.
October 1993 is the First Customer Shipment availability date.
This product set provides an architecture and a rich set of application enabling functions which support application construction from reusable components, including legacy 3GL and 4GL elements. VisualAge provides visual GUI development capabilities so that complex CUA-compliant screens can be built quickly and easily. VisualAge also provides the protocols that enable the GUI front-ends to run with newly created object-oriented applications or with pre-existing applications.
Graphical user interfaces and line-of-business applications can be developed with VisualAge in a highly productive environment, using the rapid prototyping, prototyping-to-production and code reuse capabilities of object-oriented programming. The applications developed with VisualAge provide end users with easy-to-use graphical displays for their workstations.
Access is also provided to the scripting language used to write VisualAge and, at lowest level, to native Smalltalk itself. The developer can then choose the level which supports the desired development effort. For example, existing components can be combined through the visual programming interface, existing components can be modified through the scripting language or completely new components can be created in native Smalltalk.
VisualAge provides an open architecture via published interfaces. Through this approach components created by the customer can easily be added to the development environment. This approach also encourages others to create GUI development tools and support tools (communications, database access, legacy code access and class libraries) which will work with VisualAge.
Less experienced users can become productive very quickly because the levels of abstraction in VisualAge remove the need to understand databases and communication protocols. Users who are not literate in object-oriented programming can develop significant applications without moving into the underlying code. With this capability, the user can develop the client portion of very sophisticated client-server applications much more quickly than with traditional application development tools, with higher quality and lower maintenance costs. More experienced users may choose to access the underlying object-oriented code and create components that may be reused.
Specifically, VisualAge functionality provides value to the customer in the following areas:
VisualAge supports logical separation of the client from the server, simplifying interface design and implementation; and provides high-level abstractions that completely hide the interface to the network protocols. This functionality results in the client portion of client-server applications being built in less time with higher quality and lower cost. Customers will be able to respond more quickly to changes in the marketplace due to shorter leadtimes for application development. Such responsiveness is a key factor in the choice of developers for many applications.
VisualAge provides significant customer value in application development by enabling developers to improve their productivity both in work effort and elapsed time, from the use of graphical screen generation functions and reuse of existing components. VisualAge also enables easy development of the client portion of a client/server application. Prototyping and evolution of the user interface can occur without requiring changes to the programming of the underlying business objects or full development of the business logic.
The productivity achievable by the developer encourages the reimplementation of applications, particularly those that can benefit most from a CUA '91 user interface.
Design via prototyping enables the developer to work iteratively with the end user to ensure the application meets requirements, avoiding misunderstanding and rework. The reuse of components is encouraged in this methodology resulting in applications based on previously tested code.
The iterative design and development approach leads to synergy and creativity within the customer/developer team and higher customer satisfaction with the resultant application than is typical with traditional development paradigms. This interaction also ensures that the resulting application is what the customer wants and needs, dramatically reducing fixes and rework and, therefore, end user false starts and inefficient use of the application.
VisualAge enables application development based on a "construction- from-components" architecture. This approach provides an integrated "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) user interface tool that permits the user to select interface parts from a palette, size and align them as appropriate and iteratively view the results as the interface is built. Either during or after this brief development process, the developer may build the application by selecting from a palette the sources and targets to populate or receive information from the interface. The information may come from, or be targeted for, a database, a communications link or some external source such as another application program. VisualAge will generate the code to support the links established between sources and targets and the user interface. Also, visual construction enables people with widely varying skill levels to develop applications. Those with little, or no, programming skills can easily create applications using existing components. Programmers with more experience have the additional option of creating new components.
In addition to using the set of interactive tools and application support functions that VisualAge provides, developers may also write application code in Smalltalk, the native scripting language in which VisualAge is implemented. Smalltalk benefits the application developer by:
VisualAge Team provides version control, change management and library functions while enabling multiple developers to work on the same application simultaneously. This capability enables the division of function among developers, code reuse optimization and faster development cycles.
The sharing of components helps ensure that all developers are working on a single, common base, facilitates the integration of change into the development process and promotes reuse of pre-tested stable code rather than rewriting it.
In addition, VisualAge provides value in the following areas:
VisualAge enables the customer to protect investments in legacy applications and data. VisualAge parses C and COBOL source files to create object representations for the existing data structures. It also supports accessing any language that supports native operating system DLLs. Existing code may be integrated into a new application's development environment and subsequent client/server applications, protecting the investment in the old applications and data. Repeated reuse decreases the cost of each successive application, thereby increasing the value of the reusable code.
A library of pre-tested, stable code modules leads to more stable applications initially and therefore, less risk in extending those applications in the future. Applications and systems become far less volatile resulting in a more stable environment for growth and less maintenance.
The IBM Application Generation family of product sets will include
The Cross System Product V4.1 is a state of the art forth generation language and code generator that greatly simplifies application development. Its interactive and highly productive development and test facilities available on both the MVS and the OS/2 platforms totally shield the application developer from target execution system complexity enabling implementation of mission critical robust Line Of Business applications which can execute on all MVS systems, on the OS/2 CICS system or as client/server systems exploiting the CICS Inter System Communication facilities.
Using CSP V4.1 customers can exploit the power of the PWS as a productive development platform using the CSP/2AD product, and exploit the processing power of their host processor for CPU intensive code generation. Optionally they can also use their host processor for development and test. IBM Cross System Product Version 3.3 continues to provide a VM or VSE-based application development solution. Applications previously defined with CSP/AD Version 3.2.2 (or higher), CSP/370AD Version 4 or CSP/2AD can be migrated to Highpoint through external source format providing investment protection for existing applications.
Highpoint extends the capabilities of the Cross System Product by providing a state-of-the-art object-oriented GUI capability for prospective users interested in implementing fully event-driven GUI clients of client/server application systems.
This new technology, combined with the power of the OS/2 based development and test functions, and with a new code generation engine also running on OS/2, provides a full LAN based highly productive rapid application development platform for those customers interested in moving their development activity from mainframe to workstation.
While the GUI client development facilities exploit a new visual programming approach, the IBM 4GL CPI also used by the CSP product is available to deliver business logic and data access, and a powerful test facility allows application developers to quickly debug the whole system, client and server component parts together.
Consistent with CSP V4.1 and a sound 4GL approach, Highpoint is architected to support most of the client/server models with the objective to shield the application developer from the complexity of communication protocols, data formatting, data conversion and server location.
The generation engine transform the 4GL source definitions into 3GL source code for multiple target host and workstation server platforms, and into executable modules for multiple workstation client platforms.
VisualAge is a highly productive application development environment that allows construction of applications through the reuse of generic parts with can be graphically connected together using a powerful and intuitive visual programming approach. The parts are Smalltalk objects and can be modified and extended using the Smalltalk environment which is part of the VisualAge product. A rich GUI composition tool, combined with pre-defined database query parts that support industry leading RDBMS's, and a set of objects that support a variety of communication protocols, make VisulAge an excellent tool to develop client/server applications.
Distributed data is provided through the DRDA and the powerful but easy linkage of accessed data with sophisticated GUI. Distributed function and distributed GUI can be accomplished through linkage to servers written in traditional programming languages. Supported protocols include APPC, TCP/IP, HLLAPI, and NETBIOS.
The users of this new exciting technology can be divided into "application builders" and "parts builders". Application builders are analysts and programmers, or even end-users, with good understanding of the business who can compose a full application using and connecting existing parts. Parts builders are programmers with strong technical skills, open to or familiar with OO programming, who can use the rich Smalltalk environment to modify and extend existing parts or to create new parts.
Title Order Number ------------------------------- -------------------- Installation and Maintenance Guide Publications are not Tutorial separately orderable VisualAge User's Guide VisualAge Scripting Guide and Reference VisualAge Team Programming Guide Programming for IBM Relational Databases with VisualAge Programming for Multiple Threads with VisualAge Programming for Communications with VisualAge Programming for VisualAge's Legacy Systems Interface Construction From PartsDisplayable Softcopy Publications Information regarding publications in displayable softcopy form will provided at general availability. Source File Publications Information regarding publications in source file form will be provided at general availability.
Title Order Number ------------------------------- -------------------- Installation and Maintenance Guide Publications are not Tutorial separately orderable VisualAge User's Guide VisualAge Scripting Guide and Reference VisualAge Team Programming Guide Programming for IBM Relational Databases with VisualAge Programming for Multiple Threads with VisualAge Programming for Communications with VisualAge Programming for EHLLAPI with VisualAge Programming for VisualAge's Legacy Systems Interface Construction From Parts
Complete development and execution requirements will be provided at general availability. However, general requirements will be a 486, 25Mhz processor with 16MB of RAM for development and a 386 processor for execution. RAM and hardfile requirements at execution will depend on the application being run.
OS/2 2.1 5604-467
VisualAge will be CID (configuration, installation and distribution) enabled for installation on local area networks.
All products will be distributed on CD-ROM. All publications will be on-line. A 'read-me' document will be included.
VisualAge logs all changes in a source change log. VisualAge Team, in addition to logging source changes, captures change management and versioning information. User management is responsible for evaluation, selection, and implementation of security features, administrative procedures, and appropriate controls in application systems and communication facilities.
Charges, Terms and Conditions will be provided with the general available announcement.
IBM standard warranty of media. Warranty period 3 months (or the period required by local legislation, if greater).
For program defect related problems, the following procedure for assistance in problem identification is applicable:
Customer information needed when submitting a problem:
This service, in accordance with the Service Statement included in the program package, will be available until the Service End Date.
All European, Middle Eastern and African Countries.
The data in this letter is subject to the disclaimer in Letter
ZS90-0112, which is available from IBM on request.