A Quick Start to Using RSE

Those of you who have been reading our i5 EXTRA and IBM Systems Magazine articles know that we're users and fans of the IBM workstation-based tools for developers. We were CODE users for many years and wrote the "Partner400 CODE Quick Start Guide" a few years ago. We are now both users of the Remote Systems Explorer (RSE) portion of WebSphere Development Studio Client (WDSc). By popular demand, we have now produced a Quick Start Guide for RSE.

This month's i5 EXTRA is the first of three excerpts from the "Partner400 RSE Quick Start Guide." The second excerpt will be published in the December issue of IBM Systems Magazine, i5 Business Systems edition, and the final portion will be published in the December i5 EXTRA.

This guide won't make you an RSE expert, but we hope it will help make it easier and faster for you to begin exploring RSE as a replacement for SEU and PDM. This edition refers to the most current version of WDSc, which as of this writing is Version 6. When all the updates are applied, it becomes V 6.0.1.


RSE is installed as part of WDSc (sometimes referred to as WDSCi). The toolset is installed directly onto your Windows workstation from a set of discs that come with your other System i software. The current install and update process has some idiosyncrasies and challenges - not the least of which involves locating the software media--that warrant its own section of the Quick Start Guide. That section isn't included here, but is available from our Web site.

Introduction to the WDSc Workbench

To start the workbench, use Start>Programs>IBM Rational>IBM WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries V6.0>WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries. You may alternatively choose to run IBM Rational Application Developer V6.0>Rational Application Developer. Either way, you end up at the same place. It may take quite awhile to load, especially the first time and/or if your workstation has less than the recommended memory. (Note: In Windows XP you may right-click on the application entry in the menu to pin it to the Start Menu or to create a desktop shortcut to the program. We recommend using one of those options to save some time each day when you're starting the workbench.)

The first dialog you should see is a small window asking you for a directory to store your workspace. The workspace contains a set of files and directories used to store information about your workbench environment. It's a critical part of using RSE and will be accessed frequently, so make sure the workspace is on a local drive. By default, the workspace is placed in your My Documents folder. In many shops, "My Documents" is deliberately placed on a shared network drive to make it easier for system administrators to back up its contents. If your workspace isn't on a local drive, it could have a negative impact on the tool's performance.

Because there may be occasions when you need to look at files in the workspace directory structure, we recommend not leaving it in "My Documents," even if that's on a local drive. Creating a directory specifically for WDSc workspaces (as we did in Figure 1) often works better in the long run.

Note the check box specifying " do not ask again." If you check this box and decide later that you want or need to create a new/different workspace, you can use the "Switch Workspace" option from the File pull-down menu to create a new workspace.

The workbench will start after you specify your workspace location. The first time it comes up, you'll most likely see an introduction splash screen appear that looks like this: Figure 2

From the screen in Figure 2, you can access introductory information and tutorials about the WDSc workbench. In the interest of getting a "quick start" on RSE specifically, we suggest you close this screen by clicking on the small "x" on the Welcome tab near the top left of the screen highlighted in the figure. You can examine this information later by taking the Welcome option under the Help pull-down menu.

Jon Paris is a technical editor with IBM Systems Magazine and co-owner of Partner400.

Susan Gantner is a technical editor with IBM Systems Magazine and co-owner of Partner400.

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