What is PowerRuby? PowerRuby is a privately held business incorporated in Minnesota with offices in Mankato, USA and Bath, UK. PowerRuby has partnered with IBM to provide a formal port of the Ruby language and the Rails framework including a native database driver that communicates directly with DB2 on IBM i without the need for any other proxies (i.e., MySQL, JDBC, ODBC).
PowerRuby is currently available in a free community version. Additional features under development will take the Ruby and Rails environments to the next level and be included in a licensed commercial version of PowerRuby.
Why the Ruby language and the Rails web framework? The PowerRuby team comes from a variety of backgrounds in IBM i history but we’ve all tasted the powerful realities of Ruby and Rails on other platforms. The Convention over Configuration (CoC) Rails mantra has caused it to become one of the most efficient ways to produce websites the open source world has ever seen. Stay tuned for articles and blog postings on this topic.
Isn’t Ruby on Rails on other platforms good enough? We see growth pains for web applications because although server farms are less complex because of virtualization and automation, each additional server is still a point of failure and maintenance. That’s where we saw an opportunity to introduce the Power platform, IBM i operating system and the integrated DB2 database. With this combination, your application no longer requires separate servers for databases, language runtimes and master proxies. Instead, your application can run on a single server where all the internals operate at top speed.
What is ibm_db? The ibm_db project on RubyForge is an open source project developed and supported by IBM. Until recently, it didn’t have formal 1-tier IBM i DB2 support and instead could only be accessed from Linux, UNIX or Windows (LUW). IBM i native support now exists and will be included in all subsequent releases of ibm_db.
What is XMLSERVICE? The XMLSERVICE project is owned by IBM and hosted on the Young i Professionals (YiPs) website. Its purpose is to allow simple access to IBM i programs and objects from anywhere (i.e., mobile, cloud, laptop, etc.). Included with PowerRuby is an XMLSERVICE Ruby gem that wrappers the calls to XMLSERVICE. In short, this allows simple access to existing RPG business logic or other IBM i resources you might need to communicate with.
And so much more… Of course, there’s more to having Ruby on IBM i than the language port. We’re also porting web servers (nginx), application servers (Thin, Passenger), ssh terminal editors (nano, Joe), git support and much more. Stay tuned to our blog for the latest updates. To make a feature request, please email support@PowerRuby.com.