Midrange News for the IBM i Community


Posted by: Chris Proctor
Programmer Analyst
Columbia Sports Company
Portland, OR
GUI interface - Any good ones?
has no ratings.
Published: 07 May 2014
Revised: 11 Jun 2014 - 1049 days ago
Last viewed on: 24 Apr 2017 (2549 views) 

Using IBM i? Need to create Excel, CSV, HTML, JSON, PDF, SPOOL reports? Learn more about the fastest and least expensive tool for the job: SQL iQuery.

GUI interface - Any good ones? Published by: Chris Proctor on 07 May 2014 view comments(10)

Good morning, all. I haven't visited the area of a GUI interface for the iSeries in quite a while, but there's talk that our customer reps are wanting a more "Windows feel" instead of green screen. I know the last time I looked at this the screen scrapers were pretty archaic and looked more like a gray "green screen".

I'm curious if there's anything out there now that's any good. I'm interested in anything, software that takes a green screen program and converts the DSPF into something that can possibly be modified for drop-down listboxes, etc., software that will call RPG programs, perhaps even software that allows the development of a GUI interface to an RPG program.

I want to have an idea what's available, so I can do a little research. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

Chris

Return to midrangenews.com home page.
Sort Ascend | Descend

COMMENTS

(Sign in to Post a Comment)
Posted by: Ringer
Premium member *
Comment on: GUI interface - Any good ones?
Posted: 2 years 11 months 18 days 19 hours 26 minutes ago

I haven't used this but read about it. http://files.zend.com/help/Zend-Server-5-IBMi/i5_zend_5250_bridge.htm

Chris Ringer

Posted by: renojim
Premium member *
Comment on: GUI interface - Any good ones?
Posted: 2 years 11 months 18 days 18 hours 21 minutes ago

I had to evaluate zend bridge for my employer some years ago. I can't remember all the things I didn't like about it, but I gave it an 'S' for sucks.

Posted by: chrisp
Premium member *
Portland, OR
Comment on: GUI interface - Any good ones?
Posted: 2 years 11 months 18 days 16 hours 2 minutes ago

Lol!! An "S" for sucks, huh? I don't ever recall seeing that on an evaluation form!

Posted by: Ringer
Premium member *
Comment on: GUI interface - Any good ones?
Posted: 2 years 11 months 18 days 14 hours 22 minutes ago

That's 'S'urprising. Zend usually makes a solid product. Oh well! 

Posted by: renojim
Premium member *
Comment on: GUI interface - Any good ones?
Posted: 2 years 11 months 18 days 10 hours 5 minutes ago

Don't get me wrong, we used zend framework and php for some time, and I was peachy keen with it. The way to go, IMHO to build websites to run on the i. So naturally, we changed. So much for my HO.

 

Just not that bridge thingamabob.

Posted by: DaleB
Premium member *
Reading, PA
Comment on: GUI interface - Any good ones?
Posted: 2 years 11 months 17 days 20 hours 26 minutes ago

Used JWalk and before that GUI/400. Technically it's not a screen scraper. It interprets the 5250 data stream directly, and does not need to hook to a separate 5250 emulator (though it has it's own emulator if you'd like to see an underlying "green screen" panel as is).

For panels that it doesn't recognize (i.e., you didn't do a GUI design), you can tell the client to do an on-the-fly conversion, which results in the gray "green screen" you mention, or you can tell it to just show the emulator. The workstation user can also apply their own customizations for individual panels. This is especially useful for on-the-fly conversions, becuase it allows you to override the conversion choice it made (e.g., not all panels that are arranged in rows and columns are subfiles, but sometimes automatic conversion gives you a list display anyway, so you want to tell it to just show as is).

When the client finds a panel it recognizes, because you did a design, it's reasonably powerful. !--script--ing lets you combine and split panels. It can do tabbed dialogs. You can read tables from the client, to populate drop downs, for example, or to display a graph. Common GUI controls are available, like radio buttons and check boxes.

The designer has a collection tool that gathers from display file source and the *FILE objects, and also goes to the *MSGF object for message references. You can set a look and feel template for when you import new objects or formats. The run time also includes all OS display panels (pretty sure this is the same thing IBM provided with Graphical Access a few years back), so if you give the user access to a WRKSPLF or something like that, they never leave the GUI.

Posted by: Viking
Premium member *
CA
Comment on: GUI interface - Any good ones?
Posted: 2 years 11 months 17 days 15 hours 35 minutes ago

I would suggest you look into BCD Presto and Websmart, and also the products from Profound Logic.  Both BCD and Profound have a product for converting existing green screen programs on the fly, and also for developing new GUI stuff.

I don't have experience with Profound, but their products seem solid and I like the demos I've seen.  A bit pricey though.  I do have experience with BCD and like them a lot.  Solid products and excellent tech support!

Posted by: chrisp
Premium member *
Portland, OR
Comment on: GUI interface - Any good ones?
Posted: 2 years 10 months 14 days 12 hours 52 minutes ago

Thanks for all the input on this. Viking, I've actually been playing around with both Presto and ProfoundUI. I definitely prefer the ProfoundUI because it actually converts the DDS to HTML and seems to have a lot more functionality that Presto.

What I don't like about Presto is how you have to identify something on the screen that will tell Presto which GUI screen to use. Obviously, that's not an issue with ProfoundUI. You're right tho, ProfoundUI is very pricey, but I can see why. Much easier to work with.

Posted by: Viking
Premium member *
CA
Comment on: GUI interface - Any good ones?
Posted: 2 years 10 months 14 days 11 hours 54 minutes ago

FYI, I've  been using CNX Valence for new GUI development and really like it.  It's really come a long way from when I originally used it some years ago.  It uses the extJs framework and Sencha Architect for designing the applications, and I like the portal too.  There's some learning curve for more complex applications but the results are impressive.

I didn't suggest it to you though since you want to convert existing green-screen applications, and it doesn't do that.

I'll be interested to hear what you end up settling on.

Posted by: chrisp
Premium member *
Portland, OR
Comment on: GUI interface - Any good ones?
Posted: 2 years 10 months 14 days 9 hours 58 minutes ago

I'll be sure to let you know, Viking. Thanks for the input.