OAR Gives looksoftware Customer Technological Freedom
April 26, 2011 Alex Woodie
The Australian clothing retailer Stafford has gone live with looksoftware‘s Open Access, RPG Edition (OAR) handler offering, the software company announced last week. According to Stafford’s IT manager, the OAR software will make it much easier for the company to adopt new e-commerce channels in the future, without being hindered by the limitations of 5250.
Stafford wishes it had adopted lookserver for Open Access a little sooner than it had. That’s because the JD Edwards World shop spent a good deal of time and money creating a special version of its online order processing application that was optimized for the iPhone. However, compared to IBM‘s new OAR technology and the OAR enablement products (called “handlers”) developed by looksoftware and others, that iPhone app project represents a technological dead-end.
That iPhone app “still had the legacy green-screen 5250 code within it,” Stafford IT manager Rod Riley says. “Had we been able to use Open Access for this project, we would have had an automated process to remove the 5250 legacy code constraints and enable the one set of RPG business rules to support the new iPhones we deployed as well as continuing to support the older devices where required.”
The capability to reuse the custom modifications that Stafford’s has made to JDE World and its other RPG programs–and the freedom to not engage in expensive new RPG code modification projects to support each new device or channel–is a key reason why Stafford’s IT department selected OAR and lookserver for future e-commerce and mobile projects.
“Rather than needing to directly support every new technology that we may want to leverage, Open Access from IBM has provided an open architecture natively within the RPG programming language that can support virtually any new device, platform or application,” Riley says.
Further, the looksoftware architecture doesn’t require any manual effort to upgrade Stafford’s existing RPG code to remove the green-screen device constraints, he says. “By separating the presentation layer from the business logic, we are able to point the handler at whatever device or delivery channel we want, and it is automatically supported.”