CNX Updates EXTJS-Based System i Modernization Framework
Published: May 26, 2009
by Alex Woodie
AS/400 shops that are looking to modernize their core applications may want to check out the latest release of the Valence Web Application Framework from CNX. Last week, the Chicago, Illinois, software developer officially unveiled Valence version 1.2, which brings several new features aimed at easing the creation of AJAX-style interfaces from i OS apps, without branching much beyond the core RPG skill-sets already in place at most AS/400 shops.
With the RPG-JSON middleware in place, CNX forged a deal with the owners of Ext Js, a company called Ext, that allows CNX to redistribute the EXTJS code to System i shops. Along the way, CNX developed the first Valence apps--a portal for managing the Valence environment, and a BI charting tool. The result of all this is a package of modernization tools that RPG coders can pick up quickly to start developing flashy Web 2.0 front-ends, CNX says. What's more, the tool doesn't require RPG types to go the "non-native" route, such as with Java and WebSphere.
Now, with version 1.2, Valence is fine-tuning the product to work more efficiently in the System i environment. In addition to supporting the latest version 2.2.1 release of the EXTJS toolkit, version 1.2--the third release of the product--brings new back-end RPG functions, including new data formatting APIs, expanded tree support, and the capability to receive data from the browser interface directly into an RPG array, CNX says.
Version 1.2 also brings the capability for users to log in to the Valence Portal using the same System i user ID and password that they use to log into their green-screen sessions. Administrators will like the new advanced search and grouping options in the new release, while everybody will appreciate the speed and memory management enhancements. (CNX says round-trip response times are as low as 8 milliseconds.)
All told, CNX expects Valence version 1.2 to be a hit. "I'm very proud of this release," says Richard Milone, CNX's managing partner and its head developer. "It takes the original Valence design to a whole new level. This version brings all new portal administration programs, new features in the RPG toolkit, and a new level of refinement," Milone writes in his blog.
Valence 1.2 is available now. Pricing starts at about $5,000 per server. More information, training videos, and trial downloads are available at CNX's Web site at www.cnxcorp.com.
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