Profound Logic Software is proud to announce the release of Profound UI version 5.0. This major release of their IBM i Modernization Suite offers RPG developers options to support a breadth of projects, alongside capabilities to significantly streamline modern RPG development.
“More and more of our customers are running into requirements that they can’t meet with traditional RPG development options,” explains CEO Alex Roytman. “RPG developers are being asked to incorporate a breadth of capabilities into their IBM i applications. Profound UI 5.0 was developed to ensure that no matter what the project entails, developers have the best tools available to achieve their modernization goals and are empowered to set their RPG free.”
At the core of Profound UI is its Rich UI Visual Designer and an RPG Open Access Handler. These allow developers to take their RPG applications beyond the green screen and onto web and mobile devices. The key new features of Profound UI 5.0 build upon these capabilities, and include:
All-in-One Display files to simplify management of applications that can be presented in both green-screen interfaces and Rich user interfaces.
Stateless Display Files to support SEO-friendly websites and applications that do not require sessions.
Universal Display Files that open RPG development to integration with AJAX, XML, CSV output, and dozens of UI frameworks, such as Sencha or Dojo.
Green-Screens Alongside Rich Interfaces with All-in-One Display Files
Many organizations choose to keep green-screen interfaces for a period of time after modernizing to a Rich user interface. This is especially true for IBM i ISV’s who are modernizing but still need to support older installs of an application. A common challenge for these companies is the need to maintain separate files and programs as the capabilities of the two types of interfaces diverge.
Profound UI 5.0 gives developers the ability to package their green-screen and Rich interfaces in the same set of display files and RPG programs. While the new Rich UI is no longer connected to or limited by the green-screen, the metadata for it can be now be stored in the same display file as the green-screen. Furthermore, the same RPG program can be used to drive the 2 separate interfaces, even after the RPG Open Access Handler is added.
“Traditionally, a handler for RPG Open Access communicates with a Web interface but not a green-screen interface,” explains Roytman. “This can create maintenance challenges for developers. By enabling a handler to communicate with both interfaces, developers can say goodbye to dual efforts and additional time spent in change management!”
The Profound UI Visual Designer has been updated to recognize the differences between green-screen and Rich interfaces stored in a display file. This allows developers to open these All-in-One Display files in the Visual Designer to maintain the Rich UI, while still being able to use tools like SDA and the Rational Screen Designer to open the same display file for the purposes of maintaining the green-screen interface.
“The amazing thing about this new capability is that it is not screen-scraping,” says Roytman. “When you create a Rich UI with Profound UI, your RPG applications will have unlimited capabilities and be truly modernized using RPG Open Access. What we are doing is simplifying the process for companies that use both green-screen and Rich UIs – for instance, an ERP vendor who is in the process of modernizing their packaged software, but has a customer base still using the green-screen version”.
Improved Scalability with Stateless Development
As IBM i businesses evolve their applications, they rely on their developers to deliver modern functionality like eCommerce and high performance Websites. These types of projects often require the use of stateless rather than stateful applications. Stateless applications do not establish a server-side user session and can therefore scale much better, especially when anonymous users are involved. A key new feature in Profound UI 5.0 is the ability to create and launch stateless Web applications through RPG Open Access.
With Stateless Display Files, developers can, for example, easily incorporate reusable iFrames to display order or customer information. Since a session is not established each time an iFrame is displayed, the applications performs and scales much better.
New Development Possibilities with Universal Display Files
Today’s IBM i businesses need their development teams to be flexible enough to incorporate disparate technologies and capabilities into their traditional RPG programs. The rise of many new development frameworks demonstrate that, in order to remain relevant, RPG development cannot always be confined to a traditional, top-down programming approach.
“We are seeing requirements to support AJAX, XML, CSV output, the creation of Web services, and the use of interfaces designed by external teams, which may use HTML or a 3rd party UI framework.” explains Roytman. “Now, with Profound UI 5.0, instead of using complex API to integrate with these technologies, developers can use standard RPG and RPG Open Access.”
Profound UI 5.0 provides a new Universal Display File editor that enables developers to import templates built with HTML, JSON, XML, or plain text and incorporate RPG data into these templates. The templates become dynamic documents capable of interacting with standard RPG I/O.
Profound UI 5.0 Availability
Profound UI 5.0 with be generally available in June 2014. You can receive the latest news about Profound UI and download a trial at www.profoundlogic.com.