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Volume 11, Number 22 -- June 28, 2011

LANSA Adds jQuery to Visual LANSA

Published: June 28, 2011

by Alex Woodie

The introduction the jQuery JavaScript library in Visual LANSA version 12 service pack 1 (SP1) should make it easier for Web developers to create aesthetically pleasing and feature-rich Web applications, LANSA announced this month. The update will benefit any Web developers seeking to rapidly create sophisticated AJAX-based Web interfaces for applications running on IBM i or Windows.

jQuery should make a wonderful addition to Visual LANSA, the rapid application development platform that has its roots in LANSA's 4GL, called RDML. While development of user interfaces has always had a role in LANSA, the LANSA platform has traditionally focused more on accelerating the development of business logic and reusing application components as much as possible.

As one of the most popular JavaScript libraries, jQuery gives Visual LANSA developers instant access to a wide variety of pre-built user interface components. According to LANSA, its developers will get access to jQuery controls such as: auto-complete, date, date-time, dynamic drop-down, Google Chart Tools, menu bar, rich text editor, time, and tree view. The SP1 update uses the native JavaScript formatting language, called JSON, LANSA says.

LANSA has been bitten by the JavaScript and jQuery bugs of late. About a year ago, LANSA added jQuery to its aXes modernization tool.

SP1 brings several related enhancements, including a new page layout wizard. LANSA says the new wizard will help developers to quickly design a page layout and define a color scheme. Developers will get to choose from several pre-defined layout options, including eight ready-to-use themes, LANSA says. The wizard will generate all the necessary HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, leaving developers to add the application content.

LANSA also bolstered its metadata repository, which is used to store application business logic and validation rules. With SP1, LANSA has created a new repository object, called External Resource. LANSA says this External Resource object will allow developers to enroll new types of application resources and artifacts into the repository, such as the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript created by the new page layout wizard. By including it in the repository, these objects can be checked-in and checked-out and managed just like any other LANSA objects.

Last but not least, with Visual LANSA 12 SP1, LANSA now supports the capability to install or upgrade LANSA for iSeries (which creates green-screen IBM i apps), into an iASP (Independent Auxiliary Storage Pool).

This was the second recent Visual LANSA announcement out of the company, which has U.S. headquarters near Chicago. About a month ago, LANSA unveiled a major upgrade to the Visual LANSA Framework that gives users the capability to deploy Visual LANSA interfaces on smartphones.


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