Using IBM's Open Access: RPG Edition, Wings can identify, by field name, the various data elements— including indicators—in an application's display data stream.
Editor's Note: This article provides a summary of the material presented in the Webcast "Introducing ASNA Wings," which can be found in the MC Webcast Center.
ASNA Wings is ASNA's revolutionary new application modernization product for the System i platform. Wings transforms traditional green-screen display files to browser pages. The program logic and file IO remain on the System i platform. This 30-minute video introduces readers to ASNA Wings. You will quickly see what Wings does and how it does it. You will notice that Wings requires no big upfront design and makes modernizing even your ugliest RPG program a snap.
IBM's Open Access: RPG Edition—A System i Game-Changer
ASNA Wings uses IBM's Open Access: RPG Edition (OAR). OAR is an enhancement to ILE RPG that lets RPG programs redirect file IO at a low level. Wings provides an OAR handler that redirects display file IO. This causes the RPG program to send to and receive from the Wings OAR handler what would have otherwise been a traditional 5250 data stream. Wings then renders this display file data in ASP.NET browser pages.
While a screen-scraper has only the raw 5250 data stream to work with, Wings has the semantic display file data at its command. Wings can identify, by field name, the various data elements (including indicators) in its display data stream. This lets you use Wings to make functional and cosmetic enhancements at the presentation layer level, without making any changes to the ILE RPG logic or file IO.
The Wings Design Aid (WDA) is the component used to modernize display files. This design aid is tightly integrated within Microsoft's Visual Studio 2010. Wings requires no special skills or training. A rookie Wings user can be modernizing ILE RPG applications in less than a day. Performing basic modernization with Wings doesn't require writing any code in the new presentation layer. However, if you want to further customize or enhance the presentation layer, you can use Microsoft's Visual Basic, C#, or ASNA's Visual RPG to do so. In the Wings Webcast, you will see how to do that by adding a simple graph control to what was once a dreary old green-screen UI.
A Great Foundation
One of the biggest challenges System i-based enterprises face today is the integration and extension of their legacy platform with new applications, new programming models, and even new programmers (who didn't study RPG in college!). With Wings, you're not only modernizing your applications, but also laying the groundwork for building around those legacy applications with tools such as VB.NET, C#, or ASNA's Visual RPG. Wings applications provide a great foundation on which to extend and enhance your existing application portfolio. And, because Wings is a member of the ASNA Monarch family, you can later reuse Wings' displays in a full-blown RPG-to-.NET application migration, should that ever be something your business needs.
This 30-minute Webcast describes Wings quite nicely, so be sure to check it out! In order to access and view the "Introducing ASNA Wings" Webcast, visit the MC Webcast Center.
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