WebSphere ....er...Rational HATS 7.1 to launch tomorrow

You heard it right kiddos. HATS version 7.1 should be officially released tomorrow. The official release announcement will be here. You can download a trial version of it here. Of course the trial is identical to the fully licensed version minus the actual license which is just a java jar file.

New features include:
  1. Visual Macro Editor - this is where most of the work went into the product, and I have to say, this is just a damn cool addition. The macro editor can be a real pain in the ass if you are editing large macros, and the advanced editor is too cryptic for simple tasks like adding a few actions to a screen.
  2. Support for Mobile Devices - Imagine CICS screens on your Windows Mobile device. Very slick, but a bit limited in functionality (as most mobile functions are). This will be a boon to a lot iSeries shops.
  3. JSR 168 Support - If you are not using a Portal, this means nothing, otherwise, it means that you can run a HATS app within LifeRay Portal, BEA Portal, or of course WebSphere Portal. Prior to this HATS only supported the IBM API, which has since been deprecated. The JSR 168 support does not support single sign on (via Web Express Logon), so if you need that functionality, you're stuck with IBM API.
Also, there have been a few bugs fixed. I was on the call for the HATS Beta wrap up, and was glad to see that my suggestions for improvements and bug reports were fixed. In particular is the CSS bug, where every font family rule was written backwards (see my previous blog entry). The other is that content assist support has now been added.

This means that in the Java editor, when you type 'ctrl' + spacebar, you get a context sensitive menu of options for HATS api objects. For v7.0 and prior, you got nothing, because IBM never included the Javadoc in with the HATS runtime jar files. This will be HUGE help to those of us trying to write our own HATS custom components and widgets or using Business Logic objects.

Now, I'm anxious to get the gold release and install. One thing to keep in mind (I learned this first hand), is that if you have issues installing it, make sure your IBM Installation Manager is up to version or higher. For me, the beta would not install in a second IDE location, nor would it install over HATS 7.0. I actually had to uninstall 7.0 to install 7.1 and test it.

Happy coding! (and no this is not an April fools joke - it be a real boring and bad one otherwise).