Go Cross Platform With the Developer Connection

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by Jackie Walker

Client/server, cross-platform development is the direction of today's applications for tomorrow's business needs. The Developer Connection (DevCon), in its continuing pursuit to fulfil your development needs, has enhanced its offerings. We've expanded our DevCon program offerings to include six new Cross-Platform Developer Kits (XPDKs). We've designed the DevCon XPDKs to enable you to fully exploit the client/server technologies. Each XPDK supports one of IBM's new application servers. These application servers, collectively known as IBM Software Servers, enable you to rapidly implement client/server applications. Even better – with these servers and the DevCon XPDKs, you can develop an application on one platform and with a simple recompile, run it on multiple platforms. Imagine how much faster this will allow you to grow your client/server application portfolio by taking advantage of multiple platforms with a single development cycle.

The DevCon XPDKs provide you with a comprehensive set of application programming interfaces (APIs) and runtimes, as well as online information and a test environment necessary to create applications that leverage these servers. The test environment enables you to shake out the first round of bugs in the safe and somewhat controlled development environment prior to trying the code in production environments. Like their corresponding servers, XPDKs contain support for a variety of different client platforms, enabling you to create the client portion of the application, as well as the server elements.

As the name implies, the XPDKs support application development across platforms, providing support on three primary server environments-OS/2, AIX and NT. (Not all servers support all three environments today.) The XPDKs are available as a subscription offering providing semi-annual updates, ensuring the latest information and updates to the IBM Software Servers.

The XPDKs are delivered as extensions of the existing Developer Connection program. This means that each XPDK also includes enrolment in the base level of the Developer Connection program. Beginning with Volume 10, we've enhanced the base level Developer Connection by combining the OS/2 and AIX offerings. This will simplify your access to development tools, information, and toolkits previously offered in the IBM Developer Connection for OS/2 and the IBM Developer Connection for AIX. The base level product will continue to include the cross-platform Developer Connection for LAN Systems CDs, supporting development on both OS/2 Warp and AIX. An upgrade price to the XPDKs ranging from $99 to $325 (USD) is available to base-level Developer Connection members. Our newsletter, The Developer Connection News, will feature articles focusing not only on OS/2 and LAN Systems development but also on AIX. We will continue to expand these sections of our product, and welcome your feedback.

Note: We will continue to offer the IBM Developer Connection for AS/400, and the IBM Developer Connection Device Driver Kit (DDK) separately.

Communications Server

Providing flexible, reliable communications services, the Communication Server enables workstations to communicate with S/390 and AS/400 hosts and other workstations. As a powerful multiprotocol gateway, it lets other IBM Software Servers and independent SNA or Sockets applications run without change over SNA and TCP/IP networks. The Communications Server supports a wide range of local and wide area network connectivity options, which lets applications and other Software Servers communicate from one LAN to another over wide area networks.

Also provided are API support and Advanced Peer-to-Peer Networking (APPN) network node and end node support, making the Communications Server an ideal communications and networking platform for distributed and client/server applications.

The Communications Server is available on both the AIX and OS/2 Warp platforms. The Communications XPDK supports application development on these same platforms.

Database Server

Utilizing the award winning DB2 database technology, the Database Server provides management of and access to data stored locally or in remote systems. Access to data through the WWW Internet is also provided. This full function SQL relational database system is designed to manage data for an individual, a workgroup, or a company, offering the solutions that are needed in today's business world.

The Database Server's emphasis is on reliable, responsive, and proven features implemented using open standards. It offers trend-setting data storage and access for large text, image, audio, and video objects, plus user-defined data types and functions.

The Database Server scalability spans from uniprocessors to symmetric multiprocessors (SMP) to massively parallel systems.

Application development software kits are included with the Database Server to enable client/server systems for a wide range of clients. Ready-to-use database applications can be purchased from IBM and other software vendors. Optional DB2 related programs are also available to access other IBM and non-IBM information systems.

The Database Server is available on the OS/2 Warp, AIX, and very soon, Windows NT platforms. The Database XPDK supports application development on these same platforms.

Directory and Security Server

The distributed directory and security functions provided with this server are essential to providing transparent access to distributed resources. By basing the Directory and Security Server on open technology, namely the Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) for the Open Software Foundation (OSF), we offer open services for information access in large heterogeneous networks.

The Directory and Security Server is available on the AIX platform, and is planned to be available later this year on the OS/2 platform. The Directory and Security XPDK supports application development on these same platforms.

Internet Connection Server

This World Wide Web server provides access to the Internet and lets you provide information to your customers by creating a presence on the Internet. With the increased popularity of the Internet and the possibilities it has for business and commerce, the Internet Server should quickly become one of the most popular servers. IBM provides the hardware, software, and service for customers to both access and use the network for business. Internet Connection is also a key component of IBM's Network Centric Computing strategy. In addition, the Internet Sever on the AIX platform supports the popular Netscape family of Internet products.

The Internet Server is available on the OS/2 Warp, AIX, and Windows NT platforms. The application interfaces for the Internet Server will be available soon. The XPDK supports application development on these same platforms.

SystemView Server

Providing the tools necessary to manage small to medium-sized workgroups, as well as growing enterprises, SystemView lets you build applications that manage entire networks and the systems that access them.

The SystemView Server allows management of workgroup and enterprise environments; SystemView for AIX is the award winning enterprise systems management platform that allows total management of larger networks. SystemView for OS/2 Warp provides basic management functions, such as inventory management, software distribution, and backup/restore, at an affordable price for smaller networks.

The SystemView Server is available on the AIX platform. The SystemView XPDK supports application development on AIX, and will support OS/2 application development soon.

Transaction Server

In cooperation with the other IBM Software Servers, the Transaction Server provides an easily-managed infrastructure for developing and deploying business critical client/server applications both within and beyond organizational boundaries. It provides a robust transaction management environment that makes a distributed network of systems appear as a single application server. The Transaction Server gives users secure access to applications and assured update of data across a wide variety of systems, from desktops to mainframes.

The Transaction Server is available on the OS/2 Warp and AIX platforms. The Transaction Server XPDK supports application development on these same platforms.


IBM is truly committed to providing you with the tools necessary to create leading cross-platform, client/server applications, as evidenced by these new enhancements. These new servers and XPDKs have been packaged and priced to enable you to efficiently and quickly build applications to succeed in today's demanding marketplace.

We value your feedback on the XPDKs, as well as our base DevCon offering. Please complete the survey found online or send your comments to devcon@vnet.ibm.com. To order the XPDKs call your DevCon ordering number.

Reprint Courtesy of International Business Machines Corporation, © International Business Machines Corporation