Volume 10, Number 8 -- February 23, 2010

Visual LANSA Gets Expanded Interoperability, Developer Convenience

Published: February 23, 2010

by Dan Burger

Application development goals aim to continually improve business efficiency, drive increased revenue, integrate silos of information, and speed the roll-out of programs that can do all of the above. So it is with LANSA and its Visual LANSA product, which has just reached version 12. The key to the latest Visual LANSA is its diligence to database interoperability and heterogeneous platforms, while still being attentive to the IBM i customers.

Less duplication of the business logic stored in the LANSA data repository is at the top of the list of Visual LANSA enhancements. This is important when multiple development languages are hitting on the IBM i DB2 database, because it's more efficient when business rules get enforced regardless of the development language. It adds control by centralizing business logic across the entire development environment and eliminates many opportunities for database corruption by validating data before it's accepted into the system.

This extension of business rules to other development languages was previously limited to the LANSA development environment. Extending the feature to other development environments is indicative of what's happening as many organizations seek interoperability.

For those not familiar with the LANSA environment, it uses a central data repository to store system-wide validation rules and business logic. That logic can now be applied regardless of platform and development language to green-screen, Web, Windows, or wireless applications. The result is less duplication of common business logic across programs written in RDML, RPG, PHP, C#, VB.NET, Java, COBOL, Synon, and other languages.

Visual LANSA is an application development platform that underpins other LANSA offerings like iFusion.net, RAMP, LANSA Commerce Edition, and LANSA Composer.

"We have taken the rules and the logic that it stored in the repository and put them into stored procedures," explains Don Nelson, LANSA's vice president of technical services. "Now when the database is accessed, a DB2 trigger verifies whether the information provided is correct via the rules. If there is an issue, messages are sent back to the calling program. It is a security blanket. You can always check those rules whenever you do anything to the database.

"Interoperability with other databases is a big enhancement. There are lots of islands of information that have to be connected," Nelson notes.

Although the majority of work in IBM i shops gets done using the DB2 database, SQL is making great inroads into the IBM i shops.

Version 12 of Visual LANSA is the first to allow developers to create SQL files rather than DDS files. Previously those file definitions were allowed to be imported into LANSA. Now they can originate in LANSA.

"When you run a program on IBM i," Nelson points out, "you can pull data from a Windows or Linux server that may have an Oracle database or a MySQLdatabase or SQL Server database.

"As an example, when the main ERP system is running on i, but the CRM is running on a Windows server, this allows real-time data to be utilized freely among those servers with two or three commands."

Real-time access to data stored on Windows and Linux servers directly from IBM i applications is expected to become increasingly popular, so Visual LANSA gets it now.

Visual LANSA Version 12 also includes capabilities that provide native access to MySQL databases and Unicode support.

A wide selection of open source, PHP, and Java applications are written to the MySQL interface and many commercial packages are written for MySQL as well.

Unicode support is a feature that could be adopted by international companies with suppliers or vendors in countries using languages other than English. It simplifies the development process for writing in multiple languages. For example, the creation of a product description table could be coded once because the information presented in that one field would be the same, regardless of whether it was presented in English, Chinese, German, Italian, or any other language.

Pre-built modules also factor into the business application framework in version 12, which Nelson describes as a business framework to distinguish it from a communications framework like Microsoft .NET.

"This is a framework that allows users to organize applications. It provides things like the details based on the product orders a company receives," Nelson says. "It includes things like specifications, product pictures, and that kind of thing."

The details become a tab in the application as it is being written. For example, they could be attached documents that record conversations or contracts with a specific customer. These capabilities extend applications beyond what they currently provide in most instances. Some of the features found in document management, spool file generation, and report generation have been added.

The pre-built modules offer this type of functionality increase without writing code.

LANSA has provided developers one other convenience item with this release. It's another wizard. This one called CRUD for Web. Although CRUD sounds like something that's stuck to the bottom of your shoe, its purpose here is to bring "create, read, update and delete" functionality to Intranet, B2B and B2C Web sites. Adding the capability to access and update data typically adds a pile of complexity to app development.

The CRUD wizard, Nelson says, generates a Web application after taking the developer through a series of questions that identify which files and fields the app is expected to work against, search, and maintain. The Web app will contain drill-down capabilities that link as many levels as a user desires. For instance, the program that's created might drill down beginning with a company name, then to that company's customers, then to a specific order, then to individual item pricing and inventory details.

"In the RPG world a person might be able to do three or four of these types of programs in a day," Nelson estimates. This process could easily take hours and the CRUD wizard makes it into something that can e accomplished in minutes, if you had your work laid out by knowing which files you were going after and you knew the database well. It does not require knowledge of Visual LANSA beyond finding the toolbar on the browser."

Visual LANSA version 12 has been available since February 1. It can be downloaded or obtained via a DVD. LANSA does not make pricing information available unless it is requested from a company considering purchase.


LANSA Likes Its Chances as GS1 Item Alignment, GDSN Initiatives Advance

LANSA Integrates with Oracle for Supply Chain Interoperability

LANSA Gives aXes Screen Modernization Tool a Makeover

LANSA White Paper Tackles Supply Chain Synchronization

LANSA Introduces eLearning Option of Education and Training

                     Post this story to del.icio.us
               Post this story to Digg
    Post this story to Slashdot

Sponsored By


Experience the IBM i in a whole new way with ilook's modern UI

ilook is a new and exciting product from looksoftware that enables you to experience your IBM i Operating System in a whole new way.

Using state of the art technology, ilook provides a rich graphical user experience that is easy to deploy and intuitive to understand.

          · View your server metrics quickly and easily with the system control panel.

          · Download your spool files and reports to PDF so they can now be emailed or
            downloaded from a web site for easier distribution anywhere.

          · In fact, you can now you can access the IBM i operating system from anywhere
            in the world (provided you have a VPN and/or Internet connection to the host) with
            ilook's modern graphical interface.

ilook Features

          · Simple & easy installation
          · Access from anywhere
          · Intuitive and User Friendly Interface
          · Favorites feature to store & easily retrieve commonly used commands
          · System Control Panel for quick and easy access to server metrics
          · Conversion of Spooled Files to PDF format for email, fax or web download
          · Offline Demo Mode

Learn more and get your complementary ilook licences

"looksoftware asked me, 'how could we help the i community?' I suggested offering FREE UX Software - ilook is the result!."
Jon Paris, Partner400

"ilook is potentially one of the biggest moves this year."
Chris Maxcer, System iNetwork

"A fresh look at the i, breathing new life into your IBM i experience."
Trevor Perry, Angus Thinks


Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik,
Shannon O'Donnell, Timothy Prickett Morgan
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
Advertising Sales Representative: Kim Reed
Contact the Editors: To contact anyone on the IT Jungle Team
Go to our contacts page and send us a message.

Sponsored Links

PowerTech:  Strengthen your security. Get a FREE Compliance Assessment today
looksoftware:  Learn more and get your complementary ilook licences
COMMON:  Join us at the annual 2010 conference, May 3 - 6, in Orlando, Florida


IT Jungle Store Top Book Picks

Easy Steps to Internet Programming for AS/400, iSeries, and System i: List Price, $49.95
The iSeries Express Web Implementer's Guide: List Price, $49.95
The System i RPG & RPG IV Tutorial and Lab Exercises: List Price, $59.95
The System i Pocket RPG & RPG IV Guide: List Price, $69.95
The iSeries Pocket Database Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket SQL Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket Query Guide: List Price, $49.00
The iSeries Pocket WebFacing Primer: List Price, $39.00
Migrating to WebSphere Express for iSeries: List Price, $49.00
Getting Started With WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries: List Price, $89.00
Getting Started with WebSphere Express for iSeries: List Price, $49.00
Can the AS/400 Survive IBM?: List Price, $49.00
Chip Wars: List Price, $29.95

The Four Hundred
The Power7 Systems Sales Pitch

i/OS Gets Short Sheeted with Power7 Thread Counts

The System iWant, 2010 Edition: Clustered Boxes

As I See It: Opinions Are Like ISPs--Everybody Has One

Spend on the Old, Scrimp on the New

Four Hundred Guru
Handling Constraint Violations in RPG

CPYTOIMPF Doesn't Create Column Headers, But You Can

Admin Alert: Six Things Power i Administrators Need to Know

Four Hundred Monitor
Four Hundred Monitor's
Full iSeries Events Calendar

System i PTF Guide
February 20, 2010: Volume 12, Number 08

February 13, 2010: Volume 12, Number 07

February 6, 2010: Volume 12, Number 06

January 30, 2010: Volume 12, Number 05

January 23, 2010: Volume 12, Number 04

January 16, 2010: Volume 12, Number 03

TPM at The Register
Teradata ekes out sales and profit growth

SGI spins up Cyclone HPC cloud

Unisys parts with server chief

Red Hat projects to seed cloudy IT

Big Blue says Power7 will make world smarter

Hitachi inks Xsigo pact for server I/O virt

IBM chills sealed data center with outside air

Riverbed WAN optimizers get SSDs, 10 GE

Intel's 'Tukwila' Itaniums - hot n' pricey

AMD talks energy with 'Llano' cores

Power7 v Power6 - it's all about the cache

Power7 - Big Blue eye on UNIX


Linoma Software
Vision Solutions
RJS Software Systems

Printer Friendly Version

Visual LANSA Gets Expanded Interoperability, Developer Convenience

Linoma Bolsters Surveyor/400 with Excel Capabilities, SSL

Lawson Updates M3 Suite of ERP Apps for i/OS

Customers Begin Using ilook to Web-Enable i/OS System Screens

Shield Adds IFS Replication to HA Offering

News Briefs and Product Shorts:

Aldon Ventures Into Professional Services with ACE . . . Micro Focus Streamlines Modernization Activities with Workbench 3.1 . . . Keane Unites AS/400 and Unix Healthcare Products and Teams . . . LogLogic Boosts Performance of Log Devices . . . eCMS Gets an Interface to Vehicle Scales . . .

Four Hundred Stuff


Subscription Information:
You can unsubscribe, change your email address, or sign up for any of IT Jungle's free e-newsletters through our Web site at http://www.itjungle.com/sub/subscribe.html.

Copyright © 1996-2010 Guild Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Guild Companies, Inc., 50 Park Terrace East, Suite 8F, New York, NY 10034

Privacy Statement