Webinar: IBM i Application modernizing

The initial situation in most companies is that modern software development tools are only scarcely used. This situation will not get better in the future. Additionally the generation gap leads to further problems. Most companies lack young talents to take over and continue the work that has been done so far.

At the beginning of this year a well known company contacted us. They were exactly in this situation. Together with them we designed and implemented a way to the future, to conquer these challenges.

The webcast describes the path we took and the concept of a gentle switch to WEB 2.0. The foundation of this concept starts with the on-board means, with RDi. That SEU belongs to the past for many years now, leads to the consequential use of RDi combined with the plugin iSphere. It continues with the effective use of analytic and installation tools. These save up a lot of time and improve the quality of the resulting software significantly. Development-time can be reduced by more then 30% through the use of our change-management-system CMOne.

Now to the main theme of this webcast. Instead of a 5250-schedule-emulation we focus on genie, a product of the Profound UI Suite. That way our existing applications are available in the browser. Next we create new and modern rich-display-files. These are controlled by an RPG-Program as usual. Alternatively we convert existing 5250 DSPFs and continue using the existing applications. The installation of all objects and sources is managed by CMOne.

That’s were the younger generation comes into play. Most of our younger colleagues already have a broad knowledge and experience with JavaScript. On IBM i systems Node.js is available server side since version 7.1. By using the Node package manager there are more than 500.000 application packages available for JavaScript. We can install those in the PASE-environment on the IBM i.

Through the integration of Node.js and Profound.js young developers can improve their skills for the company, as those two can be combined quite well.

The rich-display-files created through the use of visual designer were put into a DDS written source for compiling a DSPF. Now we save them in JSON-format in the IFS.

After that the existing RPG-source is send to the converter service of Profound.js and analysed for JavaScript conversion. During this process you can choose whether to outsource existing subroutines and procedures. This will modularize them. An additional option allows us the creation of WEB-services. Those can then be reused otherwise.

The converted source is saved in the IFS and can be called from a native program like any other external program with parameters.

Thus the user not only get a modern surface, the underlying structure changes to a more futureproof structure. Using Profound.js, RPG and JavaScript can be combined in an elegant way and new tools like Watson Visual Recognition can be integrated very well.

We started with no path into the future, now we have a well defined target => developing on the IBM I with existing software, integration of new technologies and finally the solution for the generation gap.

Today our customer arrived at this point and many more plan this path into the future with Node.js and Profound.js.

This way to the Record of the ITP-Webinar(german).