IBM (news, site) claims that EGL (Enterprise Generation Language) is the new COBOL, an easy to code business tool. But, we don't recall people giving COBOL compilers away for free back in the sixties.
A New Generation Language for the Web
Enterprise Generation Language (EGL) has been incubating at IBM since 2002 and is a successor to CSP from the eighties and then VisualAge Generator. It was developed with the typical business application in mind and new capabilities have been added to support systems where the interface runs on the Web and data is pulled from other apps or invoked via services, i.e., somewhat similar to how Web 2.0 technology has evolved.
To encourage take up, EGL is available for free in the guise of a Community Edition. There is no direct support for it, but help can be found in the EGL Cafe, IBM's bijou bistro for those in need of guidance or advice.
Naturally, IBM isn't doing this out of the kindness of its heart. The aim is to build a generation of developers familiar with EGL to challenge the dominance of those versed in the arts of PHP or Ruby on Rails.
Code from the Old School
As an offshoot of IBM's Rational Business Developer, the aim is on creating smart applications that can tie into common databases like Oracle without having to root through manuals to find endless obscure commands. Any fans of COBOL (anyone?) may feel more at home than when faced with the free form jazz style of more modern languages.
Initially EGL will be able to use Tomcat 6.0 as an application server while DB2 will definitely be supported, with others likely to be added by launch. Until the launch, keep an eye on the blogs to find out about further developments.
EGL should be available in the summer, leave your email address at the cafe to be notified.