LANSA Builds Frameworks for Deploying to the Web

COMMON 2000, SAN DIEGO—Continuing its efforts to enable corporations to extend their existing applications to the Web in a quick and easy way, LANSA Inc. (Oak Brook, Ill.) recently unveiled a new addition to its product suite, LANSA Frameworks for e-business.

A series of reusable e-business components that are used to rapidly deploy e-business solution, Frameworks is developed and based on LANSA’s Fourth Generation Language (4GL) environment code. The 4GL code is also the basis for LANSA for the Web, a series of tools that are designed to rapidly deliver Web sites.

Frameworks serves as an add-on component to LANSA for the Web. By using Frameworks, LANSA for the Web customers can save anywhere from 50 percent to 85 percent of the development time spent on extending their existing applications to the Web, according to Bill Benjamin, VP of business development at LANSA. “Many of our customers are under pressure to rapidly deliver Web sites,” says Benjamin. “By developing Frameworks, we’re giving them a faster time to market option.”

LANSA Frameworks revolves around two main components—business object templates and a layout wizard.

The business object templates consists of a question and answer dialogue. The customer answers the question and Frameworks uses the answers to identify their existing files and programs. From there, Frameworks generates the programs that access the existing applications and data from a Web interface. One of the advantages of Frameworks is that it eliminates unnecessary file replication and manual data re-entry.

With over 300,000 color coordinated graphical combinations and a variety of different styles, the layout wizard provides developers with a means of designing their site. Like the business object templates, the layout wizard is based on a question and answer model.

Using the layout wizard, a developer can select and customize the presentation layout, schemes and images, giving e-business applications a highly graphical look. If the developer decides to make changes in the design, they can do so at any time. “One of the things we found is that there’s a graphic skills shortage in the AS/400 community,” says Benjamin. “By using the layout wizard, you don’t have to be a design person.”

Because it is a complementary product for LANSA for the Web, Frameworks cannot be purchased by itself, but looking ahead, Benjamin expects many of those customers to make the purchase. He also says the combination of Frameworks and LANSA for the Web will be very appealing for prospective customers looking to accelerate the movement of their existing applications to the Web.

“LANSA Frameworks solves the three biggest issues in e-business implementation,” he adds. “First, you want an e-business solutions that extends applications so you don’t reinvent the wheel. Second, you need Web transaction design skills because e-business applications are different from both 5250 and Windows applications. Third, you need graphical skills for competitive e-business applications.”

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