You don't have to have been following our blog for long to know that we love RDP (Rational Developer for Power Systems) and use it every day. That's not to say that we never use PDM. As a matter of fact, we both use PDM quite a lot. We just don't use it to start an SEU edit session, particularly for our RPG, COBOL or DDS code.
We use PDM mostly for source and object management. It's quite useful for moving things around from place to place, doing the same thing to many items in a list via user-defined options, even doing compiles sometimes, especially if we have need to do a mass-recompile of many members at the same time. For some tasks (editing RPG source code _not_ being one of them) we find PDM lists a very productive way to work. Sure we can do all of those things from RDP as well, but often PDM and the green screen response time just works better for us.
Most RPG and COBOL shops have probably had the ADTS product (the IBM product that contains PDM, SEU, SDA, RLU, etc.) on their systems for decades. When IBM changed the licensing scheme with 6.1 to a "per developer" one, most shops had enough developer licenses of ADTS grandfathered to them (what IBM calls entitlement) so that most or all of their programmers could continue using PDM without paying additional license fees for ADTS.
Sadly, no similar entitlement was afforded to cover those of us who used RSE packaged in WDSC--not unless you were one of the tiny number of licensees of the Advanced Edition of WDSC. It does seem a bit strange that the new tool IBM wants us all to use costs extra, but we can keep using the old stuff they want us to give up for free. But we digress. …
There is clearly much overlap in functionality between RDP and ADTS--almost a complete overlap. So what about new development shops? Say you're purchasing a new system where developers will work and so you don't have an entitled (free) licenses of ADTS. Must you buy licenses of RDP and ADTS along with a license for RDP for every programmer?
Some would say no--just let the programmers use RDP for everything. They don't strictly need PDM for anything. But we think developers would really miss having PDM as an object/member management tool. (Note that we're not even considering the option that developers will use only PDM/SEU--a life without RSE is something no developer should be subjected to!)
Enter a new tool from Rational--and a well-kept secret--Application Management ToolSet (AMTS). AMTS is a cut-down version of PDM that does not support editing RPG, COBOL or DDS. But you can edit CL, commands and simple text type members with it using SEU. You can also do most other object/member management type of functions with it. Familiar commands such as WRKOBJPDM become WRKOBJAMT instead, but can still do most everything except editing code--with the notable exception of CL code. Since it doesn't support DDS development, it makes sense that it also does not have support for SDA and RLU, nor does it support ISDB or DFU.
IBM quietly announced AMTS in April of this year. It seems mostly targeted to operations and systems management staff who do a little CL and command development from time to time, but no RPG or COBOL programming. For those folks, RDP would tend to be overkill (and let's face it, as wonderful as RDP is at editing RPG/COBOL/DDS, CL is not its strong suit).
From IBM's perspective, it would seem to be a bit of niche product for those who don't do development for a living. However, we think it will eventually be widely used as a host-based complement to RDP in new shops that don't have entitled licenses to ADTS.
We feel it is important for professional developers to have a full set of tools that allow them to work productively. For editing RPG code and some kinds of management tasks, RDP is by far the best tool. But for those many situations when you just can't beat PDM for productivity, well, you may not have PDM, but there's little reason not to have AMT instead. It's cheap as it's not licensed per developer, as nearly all the other Rational products are. There is a (small) fee per system for AMTS. In the U.S., for a system up to a P20 tier, we understand it costs around $300 for use by everyone. At that price, we suspect nearly every new system will go out the door with an AMTS license.
Welcome to the IBM i development family, AMTS! We can imagine that one of the first things many experienced IBM i developers using AMTS will do is to create their own commands named WRKOBJPDM, WRKLIBPDM, WRKMBRPDM, which simply map to WRKOBJAMT, WRKLIBAMT, WRKMBRAMT, because our fingers as just too well trained to the PDM commands!