LANSA Puts RAMP to the Test
March 20, 2007 Alex Woodie
Do you have what it takes to leave your green-screen legacy behind and make the move to graphical user interfaces? System i development tool vendor LANSA is betting that you do, and now it’s putting its money where its mouth is to prove it. Last week, LANSA introduced the RAMP Challenge, whereby it will use its Rapid Application Modernization Process toolset to modernize, for free, a portion of your i5/OS application with browser or rich-client interfaces, replete with the latest in Web 2.0 gadgetry.
LANSA announced its RAMP product in March 2006 to provide System i and iSeries shops with middle ground between two traditional approaches to modernization. Traditionally, customers could opt to re-face their legacy i5/OS and OS/400 applications, which reduces costs but doesn’t change the underlying 5250 applications, the vendor says. Alternatively, customers could rebuild their applications from the ground up, which addresses the underlying problem but is expensive and time consuming.
RAMP is designed to bridge these two modernization techniques by fostering a staged approach that allows iSeries and System i users to reface their legacy RPG and COBOL applications while simultaneously preparing them for future redevelopment in LANSA’s cross-platform repository-based 4GL IDE. The offering solves both the near-term problem of getting GUIs out now, while giving users time to think about how best to modernize in the long-term, so LANSA’s thinking goes.
Several end-user organizations and ISVs have positive things to say about their RAMP experiences since it became available about nine months ago. “I believe RAMP is the first tool suite to combine the five R’s of modernization–refacing, repurposing, restructuring, reengineering and replacing–into one visual development tool,” says Trevor Perry, systems architect with Clear Technologies, an IBM business partner and systems integrator, in a quote on the LANSA Web site.
Another RAMP adopter is CHS Grain and Oilseed. “We chose RAMP from LANSA over WDHT [from IBM] because, clearly, the LANSA user interface is superior in its presentation layer and includes a feature-rich development environment compared to WDHT,” says André Dubé, the company’s IT Manager, in a quote on the LANSA Web site.
Now, LANSA is offering the RAMP Challenge as an incentive to get System i shops started with modernization. As part of the offer, LANSA will modernize a portion of participants’ 5250 applications, for free.
Organizations participating in the LANSA RAMP Challenge can choose to have their 5250 screens reworked as a browser-based portal or as a rich client (Windows-based) dashboard. The modernized screens will also feature such Web 2.0 delights as PDF documents, graphs, and links to Google maps, among standard Web fare such as basic Web links.
The RAMP Challenge will separate “the wheat from the chaff among the many and often spurious claims made by vendors of modernization solutions,” says John Siniscal, president of LANSA Americas. “With RAMP, we have a unique new approach to application modernization that we are eager to show and prove to the skeptics out there, especially those who have tried alternative approaches and failed.”
LANSA is offering the RAMP Challenge through April 15. For more information, visit www.rampchallenge.com.