Profound Logic Software, the company that revolutionized IBM i application modernization with the first available RPG Open Access Handler and a patented Visual Designer tool, has added yet another extremely useful feature to their Profound UI modernization suite: JumpStart, an RPG and PHP Application Code Generator. A beta version of JumpStart was demonstrated recently at ZendCon 2014 and the COMMON 2014 Fall Conference to enthusiastic IBM i developers.
By giving RPG and PHP developers the ability to automatically generate user interfaces and application logic, JumpStart makes IBM i development and modernization easier than ever before. Profound Logic's team came up with the idea of JumpStart after receiving many requests for an application code generator tool from their customers.
"With the Profound UI JumpStart tool, users can generate clean, modern code to quickly get started with any IBM i application modernization project." says Profound Logic CEO, Alex Roytman. "We're very excited about this new tool and believe it will be an incredible productivity-booster for developers."
Fast Application Development
JumpStart gives developers a tool to quickly produce new applications or extend existing applications. The code generator provides templates for both Web and mobile interfaces that eliminate the need to start a project from scratch. Users first choose the application type, such as a subfile listing, data entry or lookup. Additional options are then presented, including load-all vs. page-at-a-time, record actions, target language, title, data source, field selection and choice of template.
Templates are key within JumpStart. Profound Logic created a custom templating system that provides templates that are both easy to use and customize. Developers are able to customize the UI templates using the Profound UI Visual Designer and the PHP/RPG code templates using any standard IDE. This allows IT departments to create applications that follow their internal development standards.
Clean, Modern Code Generation
The generated code produced by JumpStart uses the latest IBM i coding techniques. For RPGLE, modern features are deployed throughout all code, including embedded SQL for database access, data structures for display file I/O, aliases for long names, modular subprocedures, and the new Free Format RPG capabilities that became available with IBM i 7.1 TR7. For those customers that are not yet on IBM i 7.1, a backwards compatibility option is available. Because the code is modern, it is easy to maintain by both seasoned RPG developers and newcomers to the platform.
"New developers, or developers that have a background in other languages, find it easy and intuitive to learning modern RPG," explains Roytman. "It's the old legacy RPG code that they may struggle with. The code and interfaces created by the Profound UI JumpStart tool are very easy to work with for any developer."
Similarly, for PHP code, the generator produces clean code that follows a proven MVC (Model-View-Controller) pattern. The PHP code is easy to follow and maintain.
User interfaces are created as modern Profound UI Rich Display Files. Rich Display Files utilize JSON and HTML5 for both Web and mobile interfaces. HTML5 and JSON are today's widely accepted standards for user interfaces.
Integration with Profound UI Suite
As a part of the Profound UI Suite, the JumpStart integrates with the rest of Profound Logic's modernization and development tools. For RPG applications, JumpStart requires the Profound UI Visual Designer – RPG Edition and RPG Open Access Handler for RPG development. It requires the Profound UI Visual Designer – PHP Edition for PHP Development.
See the Code Generator in Action
IBM i Developers are invited to learn more about this tool by watching an on-demand webinar: "See What's New in Profound UI". The webinar features IBM Champions and Profound Logic product developers, Scott Klement and Brian May, who also demonstrate the All-In-One and Universal Display File features that became available with Profound UI version 5.0. The webinar is available for download online (with a profoundlogic.com registration).