Lansa Speeds Up App Development

Lansa has moved to the next generation of its application development tools by delivering Visual Lansa, a graphical development toolset for Windows and Web deployment.

Visual Lansa offers component-based development, full object-oriented support, additional Internet deployment options, and can generate applications for Windows and Java-based Web clients from one Lansa source code program.

The new product features accelerated development because it can create forms automatically from the Lansa Repository. Once a field’s visualization is defined in the Repository, it can be dragged and dropped onto any form and it visualizes itself automatically. Customers will not need to resize or redefine attributes.

Visual Lansa will complement Lansa for the Web, which generates browser-based HTML. Clive Astle, research director at Lansa, says Lansa for the Web is still the choice for “light-usage,” business-to-consumer Web applications. For a more transactional, “heavy-usage” business-to-business Web application or applications generated for multiple clients – thin- and fat-client Windows, 5250, Java – Visual Lansa is now the answer.

“We’ll lead with the browser solution [Lansa for the Web], that’s the one most people are probably looking for,” says Astle. “That should be the application for most things they’ll want to do. But if it looks like they’ll have heavy usage, then Visual Lansa will be a better fit.”

“Our target market is still folks who want to do Web/e-business development work,” says Bill Benjamin, Lansa’s VP of business development. “This just broadens our market.

“It gives us a complete e-business solution. We offer HTML interface-based application development and can now give our clients a Windows and Java interface as well.”

Visual Lansa is also intended to compete against Visual Basic in developing Windows client applications for the AS/400, Astle says. One beta user, Don Nelson, executive VP of development at Gemma International, a manufacturing, distribution and financial software developer, reported that Visual Lansa was “10 times” faster in developing applications than VB.

“The announcement of Visual Lansa makes it even easier for AS/400 customers to extend their existing applications to the Web and Windows,” says Doug Fulmer, IBM segment manager for application development. “Anyone interested in developing line-of-business applications on AS/400 should take a close look at Lansa.”