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BCD Makes Web Enablement with Presto Even More Flexible in Third Major Release

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V3 includes database driven drop-down boxes, dynamic SmartCharts, SQL queries, JavaScript Events, and mouse and cursor enhancements among other features. 

Business Computer Design, Int'l, Inc., (BCD) announced at COMMON V3 of Presto, the development tool that makes it even easier to extend the functionality and improve the UI of IBM i green screens Web-enabled with Presto. From its inception, one of Presto's key design tenets was to give developers the flexibility to do almost any type of screen customization. Each subsequent version has included features to make it easier to customize screens, especially the Visual Editor added in V2. New V3 builds on the Visual Editor and moves flexibility fast forward with the addition of many new features, including dynamic SQL database driven dropdown boxes and SmartCharts, support in the Visual Editor for JavaScript Events, more mouse and cursor options for better navigation, improved multi-language support and more. 

Database Driven Drop-down Boxes and SmartCharts using SQL Queries

Drop-down boxes and charts populated by DB2 data improve the end-user experience by making information easier to find or enter and they certainly add a visual appeal that isn’t achievable in green screens. While it’s always been possible to add these to your Presto Web-enabled screens, it just became a lot easier in V3. Dynamic DB2 drop-down boxes can now be added using the Visual Editor with no HTML coding needed. The drop-down boxes are very flexible and powerful because another new feature in Presto, SQL Queries, is used to populate them. 

The SQL Queries feature allows you to extend your existing applications with new UI elements that retrieve server data non-invasively. It gives you the ability to use server data and to create new business logic not included in the original programs but without requiring any changes to the original application source code or program object. With SQL Queries, you can create and store SQL statements that can be used in Presto. The SQL statements can be sophisticated and can include standard clauses such as JOIN, WHERE and GROUP BY. You can even use existing screen values in your SQL statements to make them truly dynamic. 

You can also use SQL queries, as well as data from your screens, to populate the new SmartCharts extensions in Presto. SmartCharts is a set of dynamic charts that turn data into dynamic bar, pie, line, and other graphs. The charts enable users to more easily assimilate critical business data and to extend the functionality of their applications. SmartCharts has already been integrated into other Web development solutions from BCD and has always been included with Presto, but now there is much tighter integration. 

Currently, you can use SQL queries to populate drop-down boxes and SmartCharts. However, BCD is expanding this feature in the coming months to support other elements, and it will become part of a larger SQL feature that will do more than query database files. 

JavaScript Events for End User Triggered Actions

In Presto 3, the Visual Editor now lets you add JavaScript Events to elements right from the properties box without having to edit the HTML page. JavaScript Events allows you to add end-user triggered actions to your screens. Here are some examples of JavaScript events: onChange, to automatically filter a subfile after a value is entered in a field; onClick, to hide/display elements, to Page Up/Page Down using buttons and to add other navigation shortcuts; onMouseover, to add tooltips and onFocus to highlight the active input field. In addition the Visual Editor now supports Tabindex. This feature gives you more control on how users tab through input fields. 

Improved Mouse and Cursor Options and other New Features

Improved navigation is a big benefit of Web-enabled screens, and your mouse and cursor play a big role in this. You can now use your mouse wheel in Presto to scroll through subfiles. Previously in Presto, you had the option to set your cursor in 5250 or Web mode, however, many users wanted a hybrid approach. You now have the option to individually set each cursor option including over type and retaining spaces in fields. 

The alchemy continues with Presto V3's improved automatic panel detection. Panel detection handles screen recognition in real time and in most cases eliminates the need for you to manually identify screens. Developers now have more flexibility in how they define the areas of the screen that are used to auto recognize screens by being able to specify end and start rows and columns. Presto has also supported multi-languages since its initial release and Unicode support has now been added to the panel identification process, which makes it possible for organizations who develop and customize their Web enabled screens to run those applications in multiple languages--either concurrently on the same IBM i or by moving the application to another IBM i that is set to a different language. 

Recently Added Features Included

Still other important features from a previous release of the product are included in this release. “Since the introduction of Presto, new versions containing enhancements and new features have been released about every three months,” according to Marcel Sarrasin, BCD's technical marketing manager. “Several important new features were released in V2.4 and play a significant role in this major release.” These focused on support in the Visual Editor for both new elements and on the ability to control CSS. The new elements available include div tags that can be used to create containers to graphically group elements on a page, buttons to link to other pages or perform actions, images to display graphical elements on the page, links to make it easier to navigate your screens using your mouse and to link to other Web applications and pages, and iFrames to embed other Web apps, or pages, in your Web-enabled screens. You can control CSS classes through the Visual Editor to make it easy to change the properties of screen elements, such as colors, borders, alignment, classes and much more.

Availability and Licensing

Presto 3 is available to evaluate or as an upgrade, and can be downloaded from the company's Website www.bcdsoftware.com, where you can also watch a Webinar on Presto and the new features in V3 by clicking HERE. For more information, please call BCD at 630-986-0800, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Established customers can download Presto 3 from the BCD customer portal www.mybcdsoftware.com

BCD offers unique licensing options including Base Licensing. This is a fixed price by tier and includes a certain number of concurrent seats for each tier, making it a more affordable way to license. Users can choose Unlimited User Licensing, a unique option for organizations with many end-users, making this an even more affordable option in comparison to basic concurrent licensing. Contact BCD to find out which may work best. 

What Does Presto Do?

Presto facilitates an easy transition to Web development for RPG and COBOL programmers. It rapidly converts all your IBM i green screen apps to Web pages without requiring any source code changes. Presto provides significantly faster results than those tools that Web-enable screens one at a time or require source changes. 

Presto gives users the tools needed to further enhance those Web-enabled screens at the user’s own pace, screen-by-screen or program-by-program. It includes a Windows-based IDE that offers full control and access to the client-side code as well as a Visual Editor to integrate new UI elements. By providing users with full access to the HTML of the automatically Web enabled screens, Presto lets users extend the applications further by adding AJAX and SOA/Web Services functionality.

Business Computer Design (BCD)

BCD is a Quadrant Software company and one of the most successful software organizations in the IBM i marketplace. The companies have a combined 60 years in the IBM i marketplace and have successfully helped thousands of organizations worldwide modernize. Together, Quadrant and BCD help customers maximize their investment in IBM i with their industry leading web development, mobilization, spool file beautification and document distribution tools. Their customers and partners around the world are leaders in key markets such as finance, manufacturing, transportation, retail and healthcare.
Quadrant and BCD are part of the Quadrant group of companies that also includes Netlert, which develops an Avaya call center performance analysis solution, and SoftBase, which provides application testing and tuning solutions for IBM's DB2 database utilizing the OS/390 and z/OS operating systems.
For more information, please visit http://www.bcdsoftware.com
and http://www.quadrantsoftware.com.




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