Business Computer Design, Intl. (BCD Software) has just unveiled a new release of Presto, its rapid IBM i green screen Web enablement and modernization tool. Presto 4 makes it easy to transform all IBM i green screen applications into rich mobile Web applications that are accessible from tablets and smartphones, the company says. Extending the functionality of your native IBM i-based applications to mobile devices helps extract more value from your investment in IBM i technology and keeps it current with modern technologies, notes BCD.
This is significant news for IBM i shops who have to navigate today’s business environment where tablets and smartphones are playing an increasingly important role. With Presto 4 any device that can display a browser can now render your critical IBM i business applications in a format that is universally synonymous with mobility. You can request to download a free trial of Presto 4 at http://www.bcdsoftware.com/richgui.
Optimized Layouts for Mobile Devices
To provide enhanced mobile support, Presto 4 includes Web page layouts that are optimized for mobile devices. When an iPhone, iPad or Android device is used to access a Web-modernized green screen, Presto's built-in intelligence automatically detects the device type and determines the optimal layout. Custom layouts can be created to support other devices.
Another mobile-device specific feature in Presto 4 is the custom virtual keyboard for function keys. This is significant because some mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, don’t have function keys on their keyboards, an integral part of almost every green screen application.
According to Eric Figura, BCD’s director of Marketing and Sales, “Integration and mobility are vital to ensuring the long-term success of the IBM i. We've already seen customers use Presto to deliver modernized versions of their green screen applications on tablets to replace paper and rekeying inventory and ordering processes, and to allow teachers to take attendance in classrooms. Presto 4 offers many new features to make delivering these types of rich mobile Web applications easier. It's a cost-effective modernization solution that quickly bridges the gap between 5250 applications and mobile devices.”
Export DB2 Data to Spreadsheets
Another feature that users and managers will love is the ability to view and save DB2 data as CSV spreadsheets or HTML pages. This is possible with the new Export Data element. Spreadsheets can be opened in Microsoft Excel without copying and pasting data and do not require any macros. The spreadsheet, or HTML page, is populated with the results of an SQL query defined in Presto and can be added to your screens as a clickable button, link, or image.
The SQL query feature has been further enhanced to support user library lists. SQL queries are a powerful feature added in the previous release of Presto which allow you to extend the functionality of your screen way beyond the 5250 data stream. They are used to dynamically populate UI elements such as drop-down lists, spreadsheets and charts with DB2 data, and to add new fields to your screen that were not part of the original program.
Faster Modernization with New Visual Editor and Global Features
Transforming menus into links is one of the fastest ways to improve navigation. With Presto 4 it's easy for you to transform all the options on your menu screens into clickable buttons, links, or images using a new global setting.
The visual editor’s new group selection and snap-to element features are another big time saver when further enhancing screens. They allow developers to move elements as a group or apply properties, such as making all text labels bold, to the entire group. You can also snap the group of elements or individual elements to the closest element to which you are moving them. This makes positioning elements easier and more uniform.
New keyboard mapping capabilities in Presto 4 allow you to recreate the keyboard behavior of your IBM i terminal and can also be used to remap any key.