Infinite Corp. Goes ‘Cloud’
October 9, 2012 Alex Woodie
Infinite Corporation last week announced Infinite Cloud, a new suite of software designed to repurpose IBM i applications for deployment from the cloud, and to transform 5250 green screens into Web interfaces along the way.
Infinite Cloud includes two components, including middleware that works with Web application servers and an on-the-fly GUI transformation component. The company claims that the software can take existing RPG and COBOL applications and deploy them to “the cloud” without doing any coding or buying new hardware.
Infinite Corporation (formerly California Software) says the middleware component works with standard Web application servers such as Apache Tomcat, IBM‘s WebSphere Application Server, Red Hat‘s JBoss, and Oracle‘s WebLogic. The company says that its software “deploys the AS/400 data stream (5250) to an asynchronous ASCII stream and then launches the stream” from the Web application server. The Web application sever can run next to the RPG or COBOL applications on the IBM i server, or the whole environment can be moved to other servers using Infinite Corporation’s migration tools.
The company says the GUI enablement component of Infinite Cloud uses “standardized templates” to render the 5250 data stream into a GUI. This approach eliminates the need to customize the final look and feel of the resulting GUI, since all transformed screens will feature the “standardized” look, the company says in a June 2011 white paper “How to Execute AS 400 Applications in the Cloud.” However, Infinite Corporation maintains that customers can still customize their screens if they want to.
Infinite Corporation, which is based in Laguna Niguel, California, claims that the resulting “cloud” screens generated by the product closely resemble the screens of Microsoft Outlook and Apple iOS devices. The company also claims that it can “automatically change menu-driven screens into cloud-based intuitive workflow.”
The company claims that, since Infinite Cloud is written in Eclipse, that it can “plug into” every other application that was written in Eclipse. The company also claims that it can “plug into” other “such industry standards as SAP NetWeaver, IBM WebSphere or nearly any other Cloud-based application or service.” What’s more, no programming or APIs are required! As Infinite Corporation says, this literally “opens AS/400 applications to a world of accessible information.”
Despite its name, Infinite Cloud has its limitations. For starters, it doesn’t actually provide the cloud. While Infinite Cloud can help a customer prepare their IBM i applications for deployment in a cloud environment, it is the customer’s responsibility to actually set up and run that cloud environment, or to rent space on somebody else’s IBM i cloud environment.