Profound Rolls Out Node.js Development Services
April 11, 2018 Alex Woodie
IBM i shops that want to get into Node.js development but lack the technical know-how to work with the language may be interested in a new professional service unveiled by Profound Logic last month in which the company will do the actual development work for you.
Profound Logic has offered support for Node.js with its IBM i development tools for some time. About a year ago, the company shipped Profound.js 2.0, which includes a WYSIWYG visual designer, a connector that brings data from Db2 for i, MySQL, SQL Server, and Oracle databases, as well as an RPG-to-Node.js conversion tool, which is still beta.
One of the big benefits of Profound.js is how it helps eliminate some of the challenges that RPG developers experience when working with node.js, in particular the manipulation of callback threads, which some developers liken to “Callback Hell.” “We are making Node.js act like an ILE IBM i language,” Profound CEO Alex Roytman said at the time.
While Profound continues to develop Profound.js and look for ways to make it even easier for IBM i developers to work with the new language, the company also recognizes that the learning curve for Node.js may too much for some folks, especially those who just want a modern and functional Node.js-based business application, but don’t particularly want to learn how to build it themselves.
For folks like that, the new professional services offering that Profound has built around Node.js may be just the ticket. Announced by the Dayton, Ohio-based company in late March, the new service can support a range of IBM i clients’ Node.js development goals, including planning a modernization strategy, converting or modernizing 5250 screens into GUIs, developing new Web or mobile applications, modernizing source code, and training customers to use the Profound.js product.
It’s all about giving IBM i clients what they need to be successful, says Robert Ferguson, director of professional services at Profound Logic.
“Our products, including the Profound UI Visual Designer and Genie, and now Profound.js, were designed to be easy to use and learn. But often, we come across businesses that need extra help in certain areas,” Ferguson says in a press release. “For instance, a business might need help mapping out their path from green screens-to-GUI interfaces, or need a hand with newer technologies, like mobile and Node.js development.”
As IBM i shops look to modernize their business systems, they will gravitate toward technologies and solutions that leverage the technology investments that they already have made. In many cases, those technology investments live in the RPG source code that organizations have developed for decades. With RPG-to-Node.js code conversation becoming a more realistic option, IBM i shops potentially have a way to bring those old RPG investments forward into the new Node.js paradigm.
“By supporting Node.js and assisting customers with Node-based projects, we’re showing that we really are invested in the future of their business,” Ferguson says. “We are excited to meet with businesses using RPG, Node.js, or who want to use both, and discuss their goals. I guarantee that it’s possible to accomplish projects they never knew were possible.”