Transitioning to WebSphere Studio Application Developer

Enabling Live Code Exchange Between VisualAge for Java and Eclipse/WSAD
Eric Clayberg Sr. Vice President of Business Development September 2001 Summary: This article discusses the features and enhancements of VA Assist Enterprise/J™ 3.0 and how it enables you to transition from VisualAge for Java to IBM’s new WSAD that is part of WebSphere Studio Development Environments. Introduction New Features in VAAE/J 3.0 Using the Options Tool Using Export Sets Exporting to Eclipse/WSAD Importing to Eclipse/WSAD Synchronizing a Project Now What

Introduction
WebSphere Studio Application Developer (WSAD) will be the first IBM product in the WebSphere Studio Development Environment family. This product represents a forthcoming suite of integrated development tools that cross all e-business development roles, from Java developers to Web developers to business analysts to architects to enterprise programmers. IBM has stated that WSAD will be the product that ultimately becomes the successor to their very popular VisualAge for Java (VAJ) product. History shows that enterprise application development shops typically make major transitions at their own pace. Recognizing the complex and time-consuming migration issues that customers will likely face, IBM will support VAJ through at least July of 2003. To further assist customer transitions, IBM bundles both VAJ and WSAD into one package. Instantiations has been able to identify areas where customers would likely have difficulty as they started to make the transition from VAJ to WSAD. For example, the seemingly simple act of moving Java code from one development environment to another could prove to be challenging to developers. Even more concerning to enterprise VAJ development shops would be the daunting task of moving large bodies of code from the VAJ proprietary repository (ENVY) to a new repository structure in WSAD. Fortunately, Instantiations was able to plan and deliver a very thorough roadmap, delivery schedule, and products to address these now real customer concerns.

What Exactly Are the New Features in VA Assist Enterprise/J v3.0?
VA Assist Enterprise/J 3.0 includes the following features and enhancements that have just been added to the award-winning product: Import Sets. Import automation is here! These are counterparts to Instantiations’ existing export set feature and allow you to save and re-executive any directory, jar file or repository import. Batch imports are also supported. Enhanced Import Features. New general import features include the ability to import only those files that have changed since the last import/export operation and the ability to execute any external program prior to import. New Import Task. Any import set can be scheduled to trigger at any time including startup and shutdown. In conjunction with a matching export set, fairly complex synchronization tasks can be defined.

2 Eclipse/ WSAD Features. New features have been added to VA Assist Enterprise/J 3.0 to assist in your transition to Eclipse | WSAD. These include new Eclipse/ WSAD Import and Export types have been added to the import and export wizards. The system will automatically detect your Eclipse/ WSAD root directory and any projects you have defined. When importing or exporting, all you need to do is select the target Eclipse project that you want to export to or import from, and VA Assist will take care of the rest. These new import/export types can also be saved as import/export sets and executed as part of scheduled tasks. New Synchronize Task. This is an optimized combination of an export and import that is designed to quickly synchronize the Java source for a project in the workspace with one on disk (either in a specific directory or an Eclipse project). New Run Tasks Menu. All defined tasks are now listed in a cascaded menu under the “Workspace| Scheduler” menu. This makes it easy to trigger a predefined task without needing to schedule it or open up the Scheduler window. Additional Enhancements. o The enhanced ability to export only if source has been enhanced. o A new “Explore” button has been added to the Export to Directory Wizard. o A new “Delay” task has been added for setting a delay period between two chained tasks, etc.

How Do I Use the Options Page to detect Eclipse or WSAD installations?
VA Assist Enterprise/J 3.0 will automatically detect most Eclipse or WSAD installations and display them in the default root directory combo box. Once the default root directory has been selected it will be used for all subsequent Eclipse/ WSAD operations (unless overridden).

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If your default root directory is not listed, you can navigate to it using the “Browse” button.

You can view the contents of your root directory with the “Explore” button.

Finally, you can launch Eclipse/ WSAD via the “Launch” button.

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JAVA Projects

All of the Java projects defined by the selected Eclipse/WSAD installation are shown in the Java Projects table with their names and paths. The “Details” button can be used to get a more detailed description of the project.

The “Explore” button may also be used to view the contents of the project root directory.

How Do I Use Export Sets for configurations I need to execute repeatedly?
VA Assist facilitates name and saving directory, jar file, EJB jar file, repository and Eclipse/WSAD export configurations (“Export Sets” to be executed repeatedly). Multiple export sets can be grouped together as a Batch Export Set and executed as a single unit. In addition, export sets can be saved as public (available to all other VisualAge for Java team members) or private (available only to the current user). The enhanced Export selection dialog prompts for the type of export to be performed:

• • • • • •

Export to a Directory Export to a Jar File Export to a Repository Export to an EJB Jar File Export to Eclipse/WSAD Batch Export

and optionally to select a saved export set to be executed. Clicking the “Delete” button opens a dialog to delete multiple saved export sets at once.

5 In addition, the new “Export Again” submenu located in the “File” menu and in the “Selected” menu can be used to quickly launch a saved export set.

Export sets may be imported, exported and deleted using options on the “VA Assist | Export” options page.

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How Do I Select an Eclipse/ WSAD project to export my files to?
VA Assist adds an “Export to Eclipse” option to the Visual Age for Java Export Wizard. Rather than selecting a directory as in the export to directory option, this option allows you to directly select an Eclipse/WSAD project to export to.

The “Root Directory” field allows you to select a root directory other than the default set on the “VA Assist | Eclipse/WSAD” options page. If your default root directory is not listed you can navigate to it using the “Browse” button.

7 You can view the contents of your root directory with the “Explore” button.

Finally, you can launch Eclipse/WSAD via the “Launch” button.

The “Projects” field allows you to select the target project to export to. The “Details” button can be used to get a more detailed description of the project.

The “Explore” button may also be used to view the contents of the project root directory.

Finally, the “Source” button can be used to select the preferred output source directory (if the project has more than one source directory defined).

8 Whenever an export set is run, the export wizard records the name of the file being exported along with the classname/timestamp of the class editions being exported to that file. Selecting the “Export only if source has changed” option causes the export wizard to compare the classname/timestamp of the class editions being exported with the classname/timestamp of the class editions exported earlier. If the classname/timestamps are identical for a particular class, then that particular class is not exported and no new file is created. This information is recorded in the workspace and *not* in the repository. This means that the “Export only if source has changed” will not suppress generation of a new file the first time that it is exported from a particular workspace. After the export has completed, a “Launch” option is provided to immediately start Eclipse/WSAD. If you chose to launch Eclipse/WSAD, a further option is provided to force it to refresh its workbench on startup. This is recommended so that the exported files are immediately visible. If you do not do this, you will need to execute the “Refresh from Local” option in the Eclipse/WSAD workbench. Optionally, an external program can be specified as part of the “Export to Eclipse”. Either type the name of the external program directly into the text field, or click the “Browse” button to open a file dialog to select an external program. Once the “Export to Eclipse” has been successfully completed, the external program will be executed. An “Export to Eclipse” configuration can be saved as a named Export Set by clicking on the “Save” button. If an Export Set was selected in the main Export dialog or recently saved using the “Save” button, then clicking the “Delete” button will delete that named Export Set. If no Export Set is currently loaded or the SHIFT key is held down when the “Delete” button is clicked, then the “Delete multiple Export Sets” dialog appears.

How Do I Import an Eclipse/WSAD project into my existing VisualAge for Java project?
VA Assist adds an “Import from a Eclipse” option to the Visual Age for Java Import Wizard. Rather than selecting a directory as in the import from directory option, this option allows you to directly select an Eclipse/ WSAD project to import from

The “Root Directory” field allows you to select a root directory other than the default set on the “VA Assist | Eclipse/WSAD” options page. If your default root directory is not listed, you can navigate to it using the “Browse” button.

You can view the contents of your root directory with the “Explore” button.

Finally, you can launch Eclipse/WSAD via the “Launch” button.

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10 The “Projects” field allows you to select the source project to import from. The “Details” button can be used to get a more detailed description of the project.

And the “Explore” button may be used to view the contents of the project root directory. Finally, the “Source” button can be used to select the preferred output source directory (if the project has more than one source directory defined).

11 If the “Always import everything” option is selected, then all of the class, java, and resources from the specified directory are imported. Whenever an import set is run, the import wizard records the names of the files being imported along with their timestamps. Selecting the “Import only if file timestamp has changed since the last import/export” option causes the import wizard to compare the timestamp of the files being imported with the timestamps of the files imported earlier. If the timestamps are identical for a particular file, then that particular file is not imported and no new type edition is created. This information is recorded in the workspace and *not* in the repository. This means that the “Import only if file timestamp has changed since the last import/export” will not suppress creation of new editions the first time that it is used in a particular workspace. Optionally, an external program can be specified as part of the “Import from Eclipse”. Either type the name of the external program directly into the text field, or click the “Browse” button to open a file dialog to select an external program. Immediately prior to the “Import from Eclipse” being run, the external program will be executed. An optional delay (1 to 999 seconds) can also be specified that will cause the system to wait before beginning the import (presumably in order to allow the external program to finish executing). An “Import from Eclipse” configuration can be saved as a named Import Set by clicking on the “Save” button. If an Import Set was selected in the main Import dialog or recently saved using the “Save” button, then clicking the “Delete” button will delete that named Import Set. If no Import Set is currently loaded or the SHIFT key is held down when the “Delete” button is clicked, then the “Delete multiple Import Sets” dialog appears.

How do I Synchronize a Project?

VA Assist provides a nice utility to synchronize the contents of a VA Java project with an external source - whether it be a specific directory or an Eclipse/WSAD project. To use this utility, select the VA Java project that you want to synchronize and access the “Synchronize” menu. Normally, only the source will be synchronized, but an option is provided to synchronize resources as well. Next select the external synchronization target. This can either be a specified directory or an Eclipse/WSW/WSAD project. When executed, this utility will first run an export process to export any changed types to the target. It will then run a matching import process to import any changes made externally. A task-based version of this utility is also provided so that you can schedule project synchronization to occur at specific times (like startup and shutdown).

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Now What?
This article is just a teaser.. It only discusses the features that enable live code exchange between VA Java and Eclipse/WSAD. You are now ready to dig deeper and expand your knowledge of VA Assist Enterprise/J 3.0. You can do many interesting things like advanced library management, sophisticated task automation & scheduling, and cool productivity enhancing development tools! For more examples, articles, and downloads, visit: http://www.instantiations.com/assist/docs/literature.htm

Copyright © 2001. Instantiations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Instantiations and VA Assist Enterprise/J are trademarks of Instantiations, Inc. VisualAge and WebSphere are registered trademarks of IBM corporation. Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems.

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