LANSA Shows Off Responsive Design Capabilities
November 18, 2015 Dan Burger
Designing Web pages that display on a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, or a mobile phone are no longer considered in terms of individual development efforts. That eats up too much time and often becomes an application maintenance nightmare. One development effort that results in user interfaces that correctly display regardless of the device is the new normal. Making the build process quick and the performance fast is the goal everyone is aiming for. LANSA is the latest option for making this happen.
The process of building applications with interfaces that change depending on where they’re presented–desktop, laptop, tablet, or cell phone–is widely referred to as responsive design. LANSA’s development environment, known as Visual LANSA, has made responsive design the calling card of its latest release, which is version 14.
There are two factors that make LANSA’s development efforts notable. The first is the use of a single programming language. The second is the capability for creating single-page applications (SPAs) used by both the both client and server sides. This builds on the cross-browser compatibility that matches IBM i with Microsoft Windows, a common pairing in most IBM midrange shops.
The typical shops LANSA deals with are in the SMB category. “Some have state of the art developers using all the latest greatest open source frameworks,” says LANSA CEO Steve Gapp. “Whether that’s a good long term strategy on the basis that it takes more to maintain those apps than it does to build them, is a question they should be asking themselves.
“More often, our SMB customers are struggling with Web development and the number of programming skills they have to learn. The average developer struggles to embrace the knowledge and all the trends on top of creating meaningful and well-presented webpages. And that doesn’t take into consideration creation of responsive applications.”
Producing Web applications that look and perform like desktop applications was one of the goals in the development of Visual LANSA, according to Gapp. “A desktop app requires multiple windows and the capability to deal with a higher volume of data,” Gapp says. “They’re built for office workers doing business transactions rather than a lightweight Web app used salesforces.”
Brault suggested that Visual LANSA will be used to create single page applications (SPAs), technology “almost the equivalent of a client server app, but instead of a rich client interface talking to a server, it is running in the browser. Everything runs inside the client. It only goes to the server to grab data. This greatly reduces the traffic back and forth between the server and the client, increasing the performance of these new version 14 Web applications. There’s no waiting for the page to refresh. This is a super-fast desktop style application running in the browser.”
Visual LANSA 14 becomes generally available December 1. The Visual LANSA Framework becomes available in early January. The framework will be a key element when working on back office business applications, but in the meantime Visual LANSA users can build B2B and B2C websites and order entry sites. LANSA customers on current maintenance contracts will receive the new release without charge.