<b>NEXUS VERSION 2.5</b>

yoinkscreechedInternet and Web Development

Nov 13, 2013 (3 years and 4 months ago)

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BCD Announces RPG Code Converter, Outlines Web App Enhancements

by Alex Woodie


When <a target="new" href="http://www.bcdsoftware.com">BCD

Int'l
</a> starts shipping ProGen
WebSmart
V
ersion 5 next year, it will include a new RPG code converter designed to j
umpstart iSeries
shops' Web development projects using the WebSmart development environment. The code converter
in
WebSmart 5
is
just
one of the announcements BCD made at the <a target="new"
href="http://www.common.org">COMMON</a> conference last week, inc
luding an upcoming release of
its Spool
-
Explorer/400 product and new features in its Nexus Web portal.


If one were to draw a triangle with
WebSmart, Nexus, and
Spool
-
Explorer
/400
at each point,
the center of
that triangle would represent the thrust of BCD
's development effort these days and its strategy of uniting
its Web application

development
, portal, and document
delivery
technology into a cohesive whole. While
the products are still separate, they are
becoming more integrated with each new release, an
d
the updates
that
the Chicago company

will start rolling out in

November are no exception.


BCD's new converter, called RPG to WebSmart Conversion, can convert entire green
-
screen OS/400
applications into Web
-
based applications that can be served and main
tained from its WebSmart integrated
development environment, BCD says. The software supports convers
ion of ILE RPG into ProGen Markup

Language (or
<i>
PML
</i>
, BCD's

fourth
-
generation language
) for business logic, and
the
conversion of
DDS into HTML for the

user interface.


Once the source code has been converted to PML, a whole host of code
-
generation options are available to
the developer, including generation of JavaScript and Java servlets (through the Java Edition of
WebSmart), or RPG
-
based CGI scripts
(through the Original Edition). It's all about giving users choices,
says Eric Figura, BCD's sales and marketing director
, and that message seems to be working. So far, there
have been 800 WebSmart installs at OS/400 shops, Figura says.


RPG to WebSmart Co
nversion stands out from other RPG code converters recently brought to market
because of
its integration with the WebSmart IDE, Figura says. WebSmart IDE features
,

like syntax
checking, HTML editing, and basic change management capabilities
,

help developer
s

to continue to
develop the code. With other RPG code converters, "you're relegated to the world of line
-
at
-
a
-
time coding,
often in a language you don't understand," Figura says. "WebSmart is technology RPG people understand."


BCD is giving away RPG to W
ebSmart Conversion with paid licenses
of
WebSmart 5.0 through March 31,
2005. Normally,
the company
would charge $7,500 to $10,000 for the con
version tool, the company says.


Other enhancements that will debut with WebSmart 5.0 include the capability to ge
nerate source code on a
PC with the WebSmart IDE; new wizards for generating icons, boxes, tables, and forms in HTML; new
wizards for building and testing SQL statements (native I/O is also supported); new vertical views of
HTML statements in the IDE; and
PML improvements, such as support for nested functions. Licenses for
the ProGen WebSmart IDE range from $5,500 to $11,000, while the WebSmart Web application server
ranges from $5,000 to $10,500.


<b>
N
EXUS VERSION

2.5
</b>


BCD is also gearing up to launch
a new release of its Nexus portal, a WebSmart application for OS/400
that
gives
users browser
-
based access to iSeries applications and data. When it ships next month, Nexus
Portal
V
ersion 2.5 will
have
several new features that should boost the productivit
y of users, including a
new Internet chat feature, a browser
-
based 5250 emulator, new spool file management capabilities, and
enhancements to BCD's Web Object Warehouse.


Web Object Warehouse

is intended to serve as a repository for documents that would no
rmally be stored on
a PC, such as Word and PDF documents and spreadsheets. With Nexus 2.5, BCD has included a new
Web
Object Warehouse

interface it says makes it easier to perform "free format" searches. This release also
enables users to add their own sea
rch values to documents kept in the
Web Object Warehouse
, which
should help them find the documents faster.


BCD is now including <a target="new" href="http://www.mochasoft.dk">MochaSoft</a>'s popular
TN5250 emulator as an optional portlet within Nexus, th
e company announced last week. To keep the
MochaSoft portlet after the 30
-
day trial is up will cost $350 for an unlimited site license.


Nexus users will be able to communicate with each other in real time using the new Nexus Messaging
portlet in
V
ersion 2
.5. The software will support text, HTML, and "emoticons," as well as iSeries system
messages, BCD says, and users will be presented with a list of other users signed on

to the system. Nexus
Messaging will automatically keep a log of all messages.


Nexus M
essaging won't be able to communicate with Internet
-
based messaging clients, like AOL Instant
Messenger or MSN Messenger, and will be restricted to other users on the local or wide area network. One
of BCD's developers, Kevin Cronin
,

with <a target="new" h
ref="http://www.
excelsystems
.com">Excel
Systems</a>
,

in
Vancouver, British Columbia, uses Nexus Messaging to chat with colleagues on
-
site at
client installations. "It's as if they were sitting right next to me," he says. "There's no need to fire up MSN
Mes
senger or send dozens of e
-
mails."


The final new portlet included with Nexus 2.5 is a portlet version of BCD's Spool
-
Explorer/400 product.
This new capability will allow Nexus users to view OS/400 spool files as HTML in a Web browser. The
next release of
the portlet will let users save the spool file as a PDF document and e
-
mail it, BCD says.


BCD is continuing to license Nexus in a unique and creative way. Instead of selling licenses to the product
outright, BCD has waived all license fees and is requirin
g Nexus users to pay an annual subscription fee
that is equivalent to paying maintenance fees, or $3,500.

So far, there have been about 200 Nexus
installations, Figura says.


<b>
S
POOL
-
E
XPLORE
R
/400 V
ERSION

4.0
</b>


In addition to making Spool
-
Explorer/400 f
eatures available as a portlet through its Nexus Web portal,
BCD is also planning a new version of the product in November. Version 4.0
has
many new capabilities,
including a new user interface, a configuration wizard, enhanced support for PDF, RTF, and HT
ML, and
support for the Nexus
Web Object Warehouse
.


The link to the Nexus
Web Object Warehouse

will allow users to get more use out of their documents, says
Darrell Jackson, the lead developer for Spool
-
Explo
r
er/400. "The interface between Spool
-
Explorer/
400
V
ersion 4 and the Nexus
Web Object Warehouse

gives end users the power to add ad
-
hoc and mined
documents to the repository, quickly and easily," he says.