BCD Software announced at COMMON new releases of its entire WebSmart family of products that now offer gradient charts, new XML functions, Oracle templates, and the flexibility to schedule reports. The products share the same IDE and provide tight integration between new RPG and PHP Web application development with both editions of WebSmart and real-time Web reports and queries with Clover.
One feature that adds an even more modern look to Web reports and applications is a new version of SmartCharts, a set of data-graphing Flash charts that is included at no charge with all three products. SmartCharts now has a sharper look and improved animation. The new gradient colors used in the charts give them an instant Web 2.0 look. SmartCharts also automatically varies column and segment colors, making it easier to use. New chart animation capabilities now allow users to extract selected segments from pie or bar charts for increased emphasis, and to rotate pie charts easily with a mouse to get the best view of the data.
A new scroll chart allows users to change a filter clause on the fly, which changes the data within the chart for seamless refreshing of the report with new data. An example is viewing sales data by week, month, or quarter.
XML Functions Highlight What's New
XML and Web Services continue to be hot topics for both Web applications and Web reports. Both WebSmart ILE and Clover now handle and process XML documents better. New XML functions are included that simplify XML document processing and parsing. These functions are useful when consuming a Web service. While it was possible to consume Web services in prior versions of the WebSmart tools, the new features allow users to easily open an XML document, parse the document into a tree, retrieve elements and their children, get sets and subsets of elements, and more. Ultimately, users need less program code to achieve the same result. Also, all memory management is handled behind the scenes, allowing programmers to focus on application development.
Support for Local Variables has been added allowing you to write more clear, precise and modular code. Work fields defined in functions other than Main() are considered local to that function if you turn on the local variable support flag in the generation options.
The SQL templates provided with WebSmart ILE are some of the most popular because of their flexible filtering options. BCD has simplified the SQL templates in WebSmart ILE, making it easier to change the SQL code generated by the templates. In previous versions, programmers used one fetch to retrieve the first record and a second fetch to retrieve all subsequent records. Now, programmers use only one fetch, so all changes are made in one place.
Many other new features are also available in WebSmart ILE and Clover including a polymorphic SQLEXEC function that accommodates dynamically constructed statements and session ID functions are now supported by Safari and they support variable length fields.
Scheduling Reports Now Possible in Clover
One feature new to Clover is the ability to create a non-CGI program. A non-CGI program is required to schedule reports in Clover which was previously only possible if you also used WebSmart or customized the Clover templates. Users can now create their own program to distribute reports automatically through a scheduled job. Reports can be scheduled to be emailed or saved to the IFS as spreadsheets or as HTML or text files.
Oracle Templates Added to WebSmart PHP
In addition to existing templates in WebSmart PHP that work with DB2 and MySQL, BCD has added new templates to accommodate Oracle users. Users can now create programs in minutes that access Oracle by using the templates. The Oracle templates generate the PHP and SQL to access the database and the HTML to display the information. There's the same integration with the Oracle files as DB2 files in the WebSmart IDE. The fields are available in the screen creation wizard and they can be dragged and dropped into the HTML and PHP. These PHP applications must run on platforms that have support for PHP Oracle functions such as Linux and Windows.
In addition to the Oracle templates, BCD has added a simple template for those who need to create static HTML pages that do not connect to a database.
New Features for Entire WebSmart Family
WebSmart Change Management (WCM), included in all three products, incorporates a new read-only feature in the IDE. WCM provides a way to manage the use of definitions in a multi-programmer environment. The new read-only feature allows two programmers simultaneous access to an existing definition.
BCD has always provided some of the best support in the industry. One tool they have used for close to a decade is desktop sharing to help reduce call times and to provide a higher level of service. To improve desktop sharing a new menu option was added in the WebSmart IDE Help menu that aids in establishing a GoToMeeting session with BCD support.
Availability and Licensing