Web Dev Tool from mrc Goes ‘Responsive’
December 2, 2014 Alex Woodie
In response to a “fundamental shift” in Web application development, mrc is modifying its development tools with “responsive design” elements to ensure that the user interfaces it generates will display correctly, no matter what device they’re viewed on.
Independent software vendors (ISVs) like mrc are also churning out power tools that accelerate productivity on the Web. In mrc’s case, its m-Power tool uses technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and JQuery. That fulfills its goal of allowing customers to build hybrid mobile apps, which run in the Web browser of a mobile device but share some characteristics of native apps.
Now mrc is taking that hybrid-app mantra one step further into the realm of responsive design, which is a fancy way of saying “Develop once for all devices.” The company recently announced that it’s modifying the application generation templates within m-Power to eliminate the need for the developer to do anything to ensure that his application runs well in the Web browser of a PC, a smartphone, a tablet, or anything else.
With responsive design, the software detects what device the user is using, and automatically adjusts the presentation accordingly. It’s not just about getting the aspect size right for a small mobile screen versus a full PC-based Web browser. The sizes of buttons will change based on whether the interface is touch-enabled. In some cases, entire groups of buttons may be hid to ensure that the mobile screen can load quickly–and be usable when it’s loaded.
“We’re seeing a fundamental shift in the world of Web application development,” says Tyler Wassell, mrc’s manager of software development. “This move to responsive design positions our customers for the new, mobile-focused world of the future.”
m-Power uses a template-based development approach and generates J2EE code that runs on a variety of applications, including IBM i. The software is commonly used to create dashboards, business intelligence applications, and e-commerce applications, and supports DB2 for i on the backend.