Surround Tech Revs Windows-Based Dev Tool for IBM i
May 20, 2014 Alex Woodie
Surround Technologies is now shipping version 5 of Accelerator for .NET, a Microsoft Visual Studio-based development environment for creating graphical, database-powered apps to run on IBM i and other platforms. With version 5, the development process is smoother and faster, the company says.
Accelerator for .NET includes a set of prebuilt components and wizard-driven code generators that plug into Microsoft‘s Visual Studio development environment. The software enables developers to build three-tier apps that run on IBM i and use its integrated DB2 for i database and use Microsoft’s UI technologies, such as Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Silverlight, to deliver GUIs. Since version 4, it’s also supported generating of HTML5 interfaces for mobile and Web clients.
The new version 5.0 release brings a collection of modest enhancements and changes. For starters, the code generator–which handles much of the grunt work of creating a CRUD (create, read, update, delete) database application on DB2 for i or other databases–has received another speed-up, the company says. Shortening the build times gives developers more time to innovate, and less time to gossip on Slashdot.
The company has also spruced up the Code Enhancer, a tool that SurroundTech introduced a year ago to help developers refine and update code that was previously generated within Microsoft Visual Studio. The Code Enhancer, which works by comparing the existing database and the generated .NET programs and suggesting code enhancements to keep them both in sync, has become a “staple” of the development process, the company says, and now supports nearly every type of application client.
Customers will also find new options available as part of SurroundTech’s Open Generation Technology (OGT) strategy. The OGT strategy is designed to make it easier for developers to gain access to plugins that are compatible with their development environments, as well as the default settings and processes they use.
With this release, SurroundTech is focusing on enabling customers to use OGT to make libraries available that “enable developers to experience the freedom to build without limitations or restrictions,” with a specific focus on agile development processes and continuous integration (CI). “It also allows developers to add their own repeatable development processes, which will save time and boost efficiency,” the company says.
Accelerator has learned other tricks to simplifying development tasks. For example, the software has automated much of the grunt work out of repetitive tasks, such as connecting to multiple data sources. The company says that the capability to save multiple “launch pad” configurations and support for additional data providers, like IBM‘s DB2 for .NET, will expand the life expectancy of clients systems and make development easier.