New WebSphere studio tool adds multi-language support

IBM Corp.’s new WebSphere Studio Application Developer tool, released last week, adds support for the latest Java technologies and the company’s open-source Eclipse development platform.

But corporate users may find the new enterprise version, which officially debuts today, more helpful.

WebSphere Studio Enterprise Developer goes beyond Java, adding support for the Cobol, PL1 and EGL programming languages. IBM was able to bring its legacy VisualAge Cobol, PL1 and Generator tools into the WebSphere fold through its Eclipse platform, which permits multiple tools to be used through a single interface, according to Bernie Spang, director of WebSphere Studio marketing.

“What this environment provides is the final stage of gluing all their software development languages under one development environment,” said John Meyer, an analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Giga Information Group Inc. That should be good news for the developer groups at IBM-centric shops, he noted.

“From a training and familiarity perspective, everyone will work from the same [integrated development environment]. They’ll just use different languages,” Meyer said.

The enterprise version of WebSphere Studio also features support for the open-source Apache Struts framework, which lets developers visually model Web applications. Struts can help developers separate the client and business logic portions of applications and manage the interactions between them, Meyer said.