As I’m sure you know, Rational Developer for IBM i was enhanced to Version 9.5.1 recently.
This update gave us the ability to store our source members, RPG, CL etc. on the IFS and to have the ability to store a local copy on our PCs.
This is not to be confused with the traditional IBM i Projects in RDi, which solely works on the HFS (Hierarchical File System), traditional libraries and source files to us.
So what is the difference?
In this scenario, I have my source stored in a directory, called Andy/Andy on the IFS,
and my source is held locally in my c:\FormaServe\IBM\Rational Workspaces\RDi95\Andy folder.
Create Local Project
The first step we have to do is in Eclipse, create a local project.
I am using a static web project, but you can use any Eclipse project type, except IBM i Projects, as stated earlier in this article.
This can be achieved by using File > New > Static Web Project
Once created, we should now see our project in the left-hand pane, Project Explorer, in RDi.
Now we have a blank local project, we need to associated this with our servers IFS directory.
To accomplish this, right click on the project name and then select Remote Reconciler > Enable Remote Support…
This will then ask for the remote details.
The enabler will then ask for the location of the remote project.
The Common remote root input field is used to point to our systems IFS.
The syntax for this field is (System_Name)/directory/ – Much easier if you use the browse button!
Beware that the location is appended with the project name as a sub-directory to store our source in. For our example, our source will be stored in /Andy/Andy on our server called Galatea.
This then allows us to edit source files locally, and then when we save them, it will automatically upload them to our IFS.
Once we have enabled remote support, we can see the details in the Remote Reconciler view.
If this view is not visible in RDi, it can be shown by pressing the Window menu > Show view > Other, then find Remote Reconciller > Enable Remote Support (If anyone knows of a shortcut key for this, please let us all know). The view is then visible to RDi.
In our Remote Reconciller view, we can now see the link from my local project to the IFS on my server.
Let us create a couple of lines RPG program that sits on my laptop, but when I save it, it will be pushed to the IFS.
Use File > New > File, to create an new source file.
Give it a name, and away we go.
Let us add some code to the source.
Well I did say a couple of lines!
The status, in the Remote Reconciler view, will very swiftly change to In-Transit – No, I didn’t see it either!
Low and behold, our test RPG source now resides on my local PC and in the IFS.
If other users place new source on the IFS, there are two ways we can retrieve that source into our project and place the source locally.
To test this, I created a source, on green screen using the EDTF command.
The first way is to right click on your project name, then Remote Reconciler > Pull From (System Name)
We do not have the choice to select individual source, it is a ‘All or nothing’ choice.
The other method is to look into the Remote Reconciler view, by right clicking on the Remote Reconciller entry and select Pull From … Again we cannot individually select source to download into our project. Maybe a future enhancement IBM?
To show this I created a new source from our good old green screen, and saved it in my IFS folder. This source was named FS010.rpgle.
Any new source is then populated in my project.
Whichever method we use, both our local project is updated with the new source and so is the folder on my PC.
This can be seen in the two figures below.
With our project refreshed:
And our local explorer view.
Is this a feature in RDi that will take off, probably not, but it may come more into practice if, and when, sites store their source on the IFS, which will not happen overnight, no matter what IBM say. Maybe, the Open Source direction that the server is going into may force this issue. Time will tell.
For someone who goes from client site to client site, I find it very useful to have a local copy of my source toolbox with me. It has saved me re-inventing the wheel on many occasions. This new RDi feature will now give me the option to store my source on the IFS and locally.
Andy Youens is an IBM i consultant/instructor at Milton Keynes, UK-based FormaServe Systems