Getting Started With RDP 8, Part 1

Obtaining and installing the new Rational Developer for Power

Obtaining and installing the new Rational Developer for Power

IBM has announced the latest version of the Rational Power products. Rational Developer for Power Systems (RDP) version 8 is generally available now with Rational Business Developer (RBD) to follow shortly. Despite the fact that IBM has been pushing us toward the GUI for some time now, I’ve heard from quite a few people in the field that it’s still not clear just how to get started with these products. This two-part article will show you the crucial details of downloading, installing and getting started with the free trial version of the software. Please note that this article will show you how to install RDP and the RPG and COBOL Development Tools for IBM i, which is IBM’s official replacement for the green-screen tools we’ve grown up with: PDM and SEU (also known as ADTS, the Application Development ToolSet).

Part 1 focuses on installing the product, while Part 2 will show how to get started using it.

IBM, Rational and the Installation Manager

If you aren’t familiar with IBM’s delivery strategy for the Rational products, it can be a little overwhelming at first. Generally speaking, the installation of all IBM Rational products is managed by a single product called, appropriately enough, IBM Installation Manager (IM). The mechanics of this process has changed over the years, to the point where it’s quite streamlined. Today, when you install a Rational product, you travel one of three paths: 

IM is not yet installed. IM will be installed along with the selected Rational product.

IM is already installed, but out-of-date. This happens when the product you’re trying to install requires IM features that aren’t in your version of IM. IM will first be updated, and then your product will be installed.

IM is already installed and up-to-date. The Rational product will be installed.

In this article, I’ll show you what happens when you have no IM installed. I’ll install RDP 8 with the RPG and COBOL tools for IBM i (a configuration I call RDPi) onto a machine with no Rational products. In a subsequent article, I’ll then install Rational Business Developer into that same machine and show you how to install a new product into an existing installation.

Getting the Software

Start with downloading the trial software from the IBM website. You must use your IBM ID, and select the V8.0 download (as of this writing, the site currently has both V7.6 and V8.0 available for download; be sure to select V8.0). One slight complication: if you’ve never downloaded from IBM before you’re probably unfamiliar with IBM’s Download Director, a Java applet that runs in your browser and manages the download. It’s a nice package, but if you’re averse to applets, IBM also provides a traditional HTTP download. Just click on the “Download using http” tab as shown in Figure 1.

Whichever download method you choose, once it’s successful, you’ll have a file named on your system. Unzip it to get a folder named disk1. Open the folder and look for an icon named launchpad.exe, as shown in Figure 2.

I have many versions of the software on my network drive so I extracted the ZIP file into a folder called RDP_V8. You may notice there’s an autorun.inf file in the folder. If you were to copy the contents of this folder onto a DVD, you could just insert the DVD into your machine and it would automatically start the installation process. In this case, though, I just double-click on the launchpad.exe icon and the installation process begins.

By the way, you’ve probably already guessed that I’m focusing on installing RDPi onto a Windows machine. This isn’t strictly necessary; this newest release will run on Linux just as well, with RedHat and SUSE being officially supported (rumor has it that RDP works on Ubuntu as well). Perhaps we can address that in another article. But today, let’s stick to Windows.

Joe Pluta is the founder and chief architect of Pluta Brothers Design Inc. Joe can be reached at

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