Profound Logic Software today announces the availability of Profound UI 4.6. The newest release of the IBM i application modernization and development platform makes it easier than ever to create and publish mobile applications with robust native capabilities, without the need to learn device-specific languages like Objective-C or Java.
The key features and enhancements in Profound UI version 4.6 include:
- A native mobile client for publishing applications to iTunes and Android app stores
- New mobile-specific widgets and properties, including CSS3-based panels and buttons, textbox placeholders, and mobile click-to-call / click-to-navigate capabilities
- A Web browser-based emulator that allows developers to preview and test their mobile applications
- Features to improve the overall end-user experience, including an accordion layout, scrollable content sections and textbox type control
Faster Time-to-Market for Native Applications
With Profound UI 4.6, developers have the option to use a new online client to deploy native mobile applications for Android, iPhone and iPad without the need to work within the device platform's development environment to compile for the app store.
"We wanted to make developing mobile applications with Profound UI as easy as possible, and that meant streamlining how our customers made those apps available to their end users," says Profound Logic CEO Alex Roytman. "Now developers can simply connect to their IBM i server via the Profound UI mobile client located within the iTunes and Android app stores, and the mobile applications they've created with Profound UI can be available to their users in a matter of minutes."
The Profound UI Mobile Client communicates with the Profound UI server component, which must be installed and properly configured on the IBM i server. Once connection details are supplied, all IBM i data access is in real time. Existing IBM i character-based applications can be converted to be accessed using an enriched user interface on the mobile device. IBM i data can be retrieved, updated, and/or integrated with native device features, such as the camera for photo uploading.
In addition to deploying native mobile applications through the Mobile Client, Profound Logic customers can also choose the following methods of running their Profound UI applications on mobile devices:
- Mobile Web: The Profound UI application would run in a browser on the mobile device and work exactly the same as they would on your PC, eliminating the need to install anything on the mobile devices themselves. However, because mobile devices limit what a browser can do, the application would lack integration with native features, like the Camera.
- Hybrid deployment with PhoneGap: This method enables developers to deploy applications with a native look and feel while retaining their company's branding, and is recommended if an organization plans to distribute their own applications through Google Play or the iTunes App Store. It requires the developer to package the screens using either the Android SDK or Apple's Xcode, publish manually to the device's app store, and go through the application approval process.
Native Design Enhancements
Profound UI version 4.6 offers RPG and PHP developers a greater range of native features and design elements for their mobile applications:
- A Textbox Placeholder is now available to specify which text will display in a field before the user enters any data, which helps the user understand what information can be entered.
- Profound UI offers panels and buttons that give applications a truly native, polished and professional look for mobile interfaces. Through the use of CSS3 (based on jQuery Mobile), Profound UI 4.6 is able to eliminate the use of images to produce effects like shadowing and rounded corners and make styling and customization easier than before.
Preview Before You Deploy
With version 4.6, developers can also take advantage of a Web-based mobile emulator. The emulator lets developers preview their mobile applications within a Web browser, with rotation, resizing and layout capabilities that show how the application will display in different types of devices. The emulator enables developers to test out features in their applications to ensure they work properly before deploying them to the desired device.
Improved User Experience
Profound UI 4.6 includes several features that make it easy for developers to deliver high-quality mobile applications that have a professional look and feel, without the need to work within the device's programming language. Among these features are:
- A new Mobile Grid widget that is set up to expand automatically to its parent container dimensions so that the grid will scale as the user changes the device orientation.
- Scrollable content sections that make use of a fixed header/hooter with a central scrolling content area, to give applications a truly native appearance and UI experience.
- An Accordion Layout that allows developers to create collapsible sections, which in turn reduce the effort end users spend finding information within the application.
Profound UI 4.6 Trial Available
IBM i customers can learn more about the Profound UI 4.6 release and download a 30-day trial at www.profoundlogic.com. The Profound UI Mobile Client application is available to Profound UI customers on the iTunes and Google Play stores. For a complete list of features and enhancements in this release, read the Profound UI release notes.
Profound Logic's Alex Roytman will also demonstrate some of the new features in a COMMON-hosted Webcast titled, "How to Take IBM i Everywhere with Mobile Applications." The June 26 Webcast is free to everyone, and also features Tim Rowe, Business Architect for IBM i Application Development. You can register from COMMON's event page here.