Since its inception, LANSA's data services layer has protected the integrity of data for thousands of IBM i users worldwide. With the announcement of LANSA Open for .NET, LANSA brings the security and performance of its data services layer to the Microsoft .NET world. By storing enterprise business rules centrally in the LANSA Repository, IBM i and .NET programs are subject to the same validation constraints. The results are zero duplication of rules, tighter security, faster performance, and more assured data integrity for organizations that depend on DB2 databases, the company says.
Many people already use the database middleware solutions provided by Microsoft and IBM for simple client/server applications. But as systems become more distributed and sophisticated, it is imperative that a proper data services layer is introduced into the systems architecture, according to LANSA.
For example, companies often give their spreadsheet users access to DB2/400 databases without fully appreciating the security and data integrity issues involved. It is also common to find .NET developers who are struggling with the differences between the IBM i and DB2 environments, wishing that they could just call RPG programs as .NET services via a familiar object-oriented interface.
LANSA Open for .NET enables IT departments to safely open up their enterprise data and applications to a variety of internal and external .NET applications without risking security or data integrity. For example, IBM i organizations with hosted .NET Web sites can now tightly integrate them with the data and business processes on the IBM i server to deliver a better customer experience. Anyone with packaged .NET applications that execute independent of their IBM i applications can now link them together, eliminate database synchronization headaches, and provide a single version of the truth to end users.
Every application contains rules that validate data before information is inserted, updated, or deleted in the database. Even though these rules are critical to safeguarding the integrity of enterprise data, they are often duplicated in multiple programs across different platforms. Not only is this duplication a maintenance nightmare, but it could also introduce validation variations and application inconsistencies. Inside the LANSA environment, business rules critical to enforcing data accuracy are stored centrally in a metadata repository rather than in the database or application. This approach locks down system-wide validations, calculations, and other business rules by delivering a completely independent data services layer that governs all database access. With LANSA's Repository, changes made to business rules within the Repository do not require the client applications to be recompiled or redeployed, whether the client is a .NET or IBM i application. Implementing a data services layer dramatically reduces the time and cost associated with traditional application development and maintenance, the company says.
Equally important, LANSA Open for .NET implements native record-level access over an encrypted, secure connection. Using native record-level access means .NET applications that work with large volumes of DB2 data will perform faster by taking advantage of the IBM i's powerful server-side data processing. The connection is encrypted and data is compressed during transmission between the client and the server, thus protecting sensitive data from being compromised as it is sent across the wire.
IT directors have struggled to manage siloed development teams and multiplatform projects because there hasn't been an effective way for mixed development environments to share resources. LANSA Open for .NET allows RPG, COBOL and .NET programmers to reuse enterprise business logic, validation rules, and calculations within their .NET and IBM i applications. Duplication of source code negatively affects application maintenance and it slows down new application development because developers are often recoding the same business logic. IT managers can use LANSA Open for .NET to break down their development silos, share enterprise-wide business rules and resources across all development environments, and improve the speed and quality of application development.
Steve Gapp, president of LANSA Americas, said, "LANSA has maintained a strategic relationship with Microsoft as both a Visual Studio Industry Partner and a member of the Midrange Alliance Program for several years. This partnership provides our customers with the assurance that LANSA is continually working to provide them with the latest technology that will help them improve their business processes and increase their return on investment. We believe that LANSA Open for .NET will allow application programmers using the .NET development environment to deliver more risk-free solutions with consistent and high quality data that can be maintained and extended in a fraction of today's time and cost."
About Microsoft .NET Framework
The Microsoft .NET Framework is a key Microsoft offering that aims to make it easier to develop Windows rich-client and Web applications. Applications can be coded in any .NET language, most commonly C# or VB.NET. The .NET Framework Base Class Library (BCL) covers a large range of programming needs, including user interface and database connectivity. The functions of the class library are used by developers who combine them with their own code. Programs written for the .NET Framework execute in the Common Language Runtime (CLR), which provides the appearance of an application virtual machine, so developers do not need to consider specific server capabilities. It also handles security, memory management, and exception handling. The BCL and the CLR together compose the .NET Framework.