The HATS team is excited to announce our very own HATS HotSpot, part of the Rational Cafés. We’re aiming for it to be a place where all HATS and WebFacing users, Business Partners, and developers can share and discuss ideas and experiences. Our own development team will also be blogging there. We’d love to hear from you, so please do come on over and join the community!
When providing a UI Modernization solution, ultimately it’s all about the resulting UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience).
These are areas that have endless opportunities for improvements, and for WebFacing this is no exception. In fact, it’s been lower on the priority list for too long.
ENPTUI support? Better Subfile UI? Content Assist (e.g. Calendar widget for date fields)?
What UI enhancements are highest on your list to directly improve end user usability, enhance their experience, or enable the development of richer WebFacing applications?
I’m open to rants as well. Feedback is valuable in any form.
You might sometimes need to test a web application on an i5/OS WAS instance. If you find it too much of a hassle to export your project as an EAR or WAR file, upload the file to the remote server, then install the application (and repeat the process again when you make a change!) – or if you just don’t want the overhead of running WAS locally – consider configuring your remote server within the IDE so you can use it just like a test environment.
Read the rest of this entry »
On Wednesday, George Farr and the Toronto Lab hosted the Toronto User Group (TUG) for System i Meeting of Members (MoM) event.
TUG has always had close ties with the Lab, and we were happy to welcome them once again. Visiting from Raleigh N.C., Wendy Toh, Software Development director of Enterprise Development Tools & Compilers, and Danny Mace, Program Director of Rational Enterprise Transformation and Tools Development, were also in attendance. The session was conveniently held the day after the big V6R1 Announce, allowing members of the IBM System i AD team to introduce the changes and (quickly) demo some of the new features available in the latest release of our tools. Wendy also gave an insightful overview of IBM’s strategy in this space. Overall, the response was very positive. Some questions about the repackaging which George readily explained, and a lot of excitement over the new features made available through RPG, HATS, and the new RDi line.
As a follow-up, TUG will be hosting their annual TEC conference, Apr 22-24, which will contain over 20 sessions and labs presented by members of the IBM Toronto Lab System i AD Team, that will dig deeper into many of the new features introduced in the announce and at this event. Hope to see everyone there!
A previous post by one of this blog’s authors Al Rodriguez highlighted the potential power of WebFacing customization in a Web 2.0 world.
The popular post has since been formalized and highlighted in a recent IBM Systems Magazine eNewsletter.
A great article called From Green to Glory authored by WebFacing’s own Jiayun Zhu and Hania Abd-El-Razik highlights what’s new in the latest release of WebFacing and HATS technologies within WDSC 7.0. The article is part of the latest edition of IBM Systems Magazine, i5 edition.
Main highlights include the ability to create Web projects that take full advantage of both technologies to form one UI modernization solution, and the ability to create a Rich Client user interface to your green screen applications through HATS Rich Client support.
A recent news article, where IBM’s chairman, president and CEO Sam Palmisano declares that the ‘PC client-server model has run its course‘, raises questions about the future of desktop applications. My first reaction would be to say that there are applications, such as WDSC, that are best suited for the desktop. But is this really true?
Read the rest of this entry »
Hi, my name is Edmund Reinhardt and I live with my wife and four kids in two wooded acres on the Niagara Escarpment.
Unlike some of my co-workers, my history does not go back as far as hardware design, but my grade 10 data processing course did use punch cards.
While at the University of Toronto, I hung out at the Human Computer Interface and Graphics Lab. I will concede that one motivation was the better hardware. In the beginning this consisted of 80 line terminals versus the regular 40 line ones, but by 1987 this included Sun workstations. But another part of my motivation was that I am interested in human beings as well as computers . The interface between computers and humans seems to be where the interesting problems are (as well as the cool graphics). At university I spent time browsing the internet which in those days consisted mainly of ftp. Someone was compiling a document listing all of the services available on the internet and I remembered painstakingly printing out the pages of information and putting them into a binder. We sure have come a long way since those days :-)
I started with IBM in June 1989 and I have been working on one form or other of DDS tooling ever since. I started with SDA on the green screen and then went on to DSU on OS/2. I ported that to the 32-bit OS/2 API and then led a team to rewrite it for Windows. That is how CODE Designer for CODE/400 came about. I worked on WebFacing from almost the beginning. I led a small team in writing the initial middle tier runtime as well as the conversion from DDS to JSF.
I then wrote then DDS object model in Java that is used for WebFacing conversion as well as for the outline view for the JLpex editor. In version 7 this same DDS DOM is used to enable the Screen Designer Technology Preview.
I intend to write posts about WebFacing, DDS tooling in WDSc, the Screen Designer and tips for effective use of the Eclipse platform.
Outside of work I am a lay pastor at a small Anabaptist church and am involved in various ministries. I didn’t realize that Brian Farn was a fellow clarinetist. I guess it just goes to show how useful blogs are for bringing out the truth and connecting people. I look forward to doing a lot more of that in the coming posts.
Hi, my name is Al Rodriguez. Have been with IBM since 1989; proud member of WebFacing team since 2005.
I will try to contribute posts related to WebFacing, mainly in the areas of customization and configuration. Let the remaining of this post be my first customization tip: Enhancing date input fields with a calendar widget. This tip reflects my opinion, and is in no way:
- well written … sorry.
WebFacing is not just another screen scraper. Webfacing converts display files into standard J2EE artifacts, that can be understood and molded by Web designers.
WebFacing supports a large subset of DSPF keywords, but not all. The list is largely driven by customer input and is maintained here: list. There are many reasons why not all keywords are supported; they range from complexity to them representing 5250 concepts not applicable to web applications. But, let this be the subject of a future post… My point here is that it is very likely that initial conversion of set of DSPF’s by WebFacing will result in a working web application. But to generate a best of breed web application; some DSPF rework (not requiring logic changes), and web design work is likely required.
A strength of WebFacing lies in customization. But well designed web pages do not just happen; they are the result of creativity and web technology expertize.
This post illustrates several WebFacing customization techniques by adding calendar widgets to input date fields.
The April 2007 issue of System i News has lots of content on WDSC. Some of it is ProVIP content (paid membership) but you can read my article on What’s New in WDSc for iSeries V7.0 with an associate membership which is free (apparently my article is not worth paying for :)