Modernization of the user experience – removing the 5250 "straight-jacket"
When your 5250 application has been deployed automatically in a browser using aXes' true zero deployment technique, you can use aXes eXtensions to take the design and layout of your application screens to the next level of user interface modernization – without changing a line of the underlying source code.
Why use aXes eXtensions?
A well researched redesign of the user interface produces fewer keystrokes, less screens to learn and faster and better navigation to improve workflow. The user experience dramatically improves, enabling your users to perform their day-to-day tasks faster and more effectively – delivering increased business benefits to your organisation.
What can you do with aXes Extensions?
Using the aXes eXtensions Modernisation palette, each IBM i, System i, iSeries or AS/400 5250 screen panel can be converted into a modern Windows-style user interface. eXtensions allow you to not just improve the appearance of the application, but also to improve and streamline your business processes - adding real value to your applications.
Extend aXes auto-GUI with aXes eXtensions
Using the aXes eXtensions Design Mode tab, you can customize each 5250 panel by inserting the following user interface constructs onto any 5250 screen:
- Drop Downs
- Group Boxes
- Text Labels
- Simple Boxes
- Simple Lines
You can also:
- Add Push Buttons and script what happens when they are clicked
- Style screen elements by their role
- Alter the position of fields on the screen
- Hide, enhance and alter screen content
- Use Tool Tips (hints) as a substitute for long labels
- Present a field as a Checkbox
- Display a Date Field ,edit it in various ways and add a Calendar Pop-Up
- Create a set of Radio Buttons
- Insert bars, stripes, new colors and color gradients into the 5250 screen to enhance the appearance of subfiles and to draw attention to important information or situations
- Call RPG and COBOL programs from scripts built with aXes eXtensions, allowing you to expand the features available to users without changing the application itself.
Create rich Internet applications with aXes eXtensions
Using aXes eXtensions developers can build rich Internet applications with RPG or COBOL. These applications support multiple browsers and run on a wide variety of devices, including desktop computers and mobile devices, such as the iPhone and Android phones. With aXes and a browser, RPG or COBOL applications will run on Apple, Linux or Windows platforms.
aXes eXtensions change the way 5250 applications behave on the Web. The aXes eXtensions enable you to write RPG or COBOL code and design a graphical user interface for the Web. Your program manages the data content of the screen and aXes eXtensions define and manage the screen layout. This means you can build a user interface without regard to the usual 5250 screen layout constraints. You write programs for mobile devices (smart phones), portable devices (notebooks, netbooks and tablets) and desktop devices, that are aware of the device dimensions and use aXes eXtensions to layout the screen.
You achieve the objective of running your 5250 applications across multiple channels without additional “Handlers” and you have complete control over how the application operates and how the user interface behaves. For example, you can operate a kiosk device using an RPG program with a supported browser – and people who use the kiosk will interact with the RPG program.
aXes eXtensions for mashups and composite applications
The aXFrame and External Hosting eXtension help 5250 applications participate in mashups and composite applications. Both extensions expand your options for combining data from multiple applications to create new views of your data. For example, a call centre operator can view all of the necessary information on one Web page instead of jumping between several applications.
The aXFrame eXtension allows you to insert whole Web pages into customised screens. You can display a Web page, PDF document, Adobe Flash component, or a Microsoft Silverlight component beside the content from a 5250 screen.
External Hosting eXtension
Reuse existing assets with the External Hosting eXtensions, which support embedding 5250 applications in Web and Windows .NET applications.
You can write a C# .NET application and embed a 5250 application inside the user interface. The 5250 application will assume the look-and-feel of the Windows application. Combining both applications provides a new way for viewing and working with information.
Want to take your legacy application modernization further?
Take a look at RAMP from LANSA.
With aXes you can Web-enable your application automatically and then progressively renovate appropriate parts of the application’s user interface. This modernization method is most suitable for situations where you need to be "on the Web" quickly and where you can then take time to extend and enhance the application’s "look and feel."
But what if you want to go further and address both your immediate tactical needs and your longer term strategic modernization requirements?
A legacy application modernized using RAMP from LANSA will be contained in an application framework and deliver a graphical user interface for simplified navigation over the existing functionality. You can then extend your application by delivering high-priority enhancements and, gradually, reengineer part or all of the application. RAMP also lets you rapidly consolidate multiple legacy applications into the one application framework and replace your existing programs with new components in a timeframe that makes sense to your organization. This modernization method is advantageous for a staged approach to a complete application replacement or partial legacy application modernization.