SystemObjects Takes Hybrid Approach with IBM i Mobile App Dev Tool
July 9, 2013 Alex Woodie
SystemObjects has adopted the jQuery mobile framework with the version 2 release of SmartPad4i, its mobile application development tool for the IBM i server. The tool now enables IBM i shops to take a hybrid approach to mobile application development, which enables them to utilize features such as GPS receivers and cameras that are common on mobile devices that run Android, iOS, and other mobile operating systems.
Development tool maker SystemObjects, which unveiled SmartPad4i in late 2012, developed the software with the aim of enabling IBM i shops to automatically generate mobile apps that reuse existing RPG and COBOL logic.
Armed with an existing RPG or COBOL code and a DB2/400 database, the SmartPad4i software generates programs that can access and update a database, or call batch programs (with parameters, if needed). The generator component automatically creates all the code required, including the RPG (or COBOL) application that corresponds with that particular Web page, as well as HTML. This program provides the basic structures for the application; the user can customize it by adding his own business logic in the space provided.
With the first release of SmartPad4i, customers could create applications that run on multiple client devices, including smartphones, tablets, Macs, and PCs. However, those apps wouldn’t be able to utilize local device services, such as the address book, the camera, or the geo-location.
That is changing with version 2, which adds support for the jQuery Mobile framework, AJAX, and Adobe‘s Spry framework, according to SystemObjects CEO Serge Charbit. The enhancements enable users to create hybrid mobile apps, without the need to embark upon native tools, such as ObjectiveC for iOS and Java for Android.
“We know that our users don’t have the time to develop the same application twice, one for their PC and one for their mobile, and even less to learn a whole new environment,” Charbit says in a press release.
The use of jQuery Mobile, in particular should give SmartPad4i customers the type of hybrid mobile app development capabilities that organizations around the world desire. What makes SystemObjects product unique is the way that it merges “new” mobile app development with “old” apps running on the IBM i.
“It is very surprising to see how easily our RPG developers produce wonderful JQuery mobile applications,” Charbit says.
SmartPad4i apps can be downloaded from the Apple App store or from the Google Play Store. For more information and demos, see the company’s website at www.systemobjects.com.