Volume 10, Number 8 -- February 23, 2010

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

Published: February 23, 2010

by Alex Woodie

The first version of ilook, looksoftware's new rules-based tool that turns all 5250 interfaces--including i/OS operating system screens--to Web-based GUIs on the fly, became available in December and is now being used for the first time in the field. The first users of the product, which is a free download, are pleased with the results, according to looksoftware, which is already working on ilook version 1.1.

The Australian company looksoftware introduced ilook last April at the COMMON conference in Reno, Nevada. While the company had offered thick- and thin-client screen modernization and Web enablement software for 5250 application for many years with its newlook product suite, a decision was made to give i/OS shops a way to Web-enable the operating system screens itself.

"I like" seems to be customers' first responses to ilook. "I am very impressed with ilook. It offers an easy way to demonstrate to our business users how modern the IBM i could be," stated Francisco Luna Stolting, a JD Edwards support professional at South American energy company Primax Peru, according to looksoftware. "ilook changes the perception that the IBM i is outdated or not 'in fashion.'"

Another early adopter is Link Computer Corp., an IBM Power Systems business partner based in Pennsylvania. "[L]ooksoftware's newlook product is a very effective way to start the modernization process, [and] ilook is an easy and free way to get a feel for this tool," says John Roseberry of Link Computer, according to looksoftware.

ilook is based on looksoftware's rules-based screen modernization technology, and its ActiveX-based smartclient user interface plug-in. The software will render 5250 operating system screens as Web-based GUIs by applying pre-defined screen modernization rules on the fly. Because of the ActiveX requirement, ilook only works with Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) Web browser.

ilook version 1 is currently available for English and German languages. In the next few weeks, the software will support the Japanese, Spanish, Italian, and Korean languages, according to a looksoftware spokesman.

What's more, development of version 1.1 is already in the works. This release will add support for mobile devices such as the Apple iPhone and new iPad touch-screen tablet PC. A timeline for the release of ilook version 1.1 was not provided.

The ilook software is available as a free download from the www.looksoftware.com Web site. Any end-user is permitted to download the software after submitting his or her organization's information to looksoftware. Licenses are valid for up to five concurrent users. Business partners, i/OS software developers, and other vendors interested in using ilook can obtain a license by signing a partnership agreement with looksoftware.

System requirements for ilook are modest. On the desktop, the software works with Windows XP through Windows 7, and requires Internet Explorer version 6 or higher. The Windows desktop should have at least 1 GB of memory, and support a screen resolution of at least 1024 by 768 pixels. On the host, ilook is designed to work with i5/OS V5R3 through IBM i 6.1. It might work with earlier versions of the i/OS, but not all functions will be available, according to looksoftware.

For more information and links to download ilook, go to www.looksoftware.com.


i OS System Screens Get Web-Enabled With ilook from looksoftware

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Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik,
Shannon O'Donnell, Timothy Prickett Morgan
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