Jacada Innovates COBOL/RPG E-Business Applications

Jacada Ltd. (Atlanta, Ga.) has released the Jacada Innovator—a product that enables COBOL and RPG developers to rapidly develop e-business applications with minimal additional training.

Jacada Innovator provides a thin-client architecture where new applications written in COBOL, RPG, or other languages integrate with thin clients that are delivered as Java, HTML, or wireless interface code. Jacada Innovator also transitions existing mainframe and AS/400 applications to true thin-client solutions. Applications converted with Jacada Innovator no longer require green screens and can be maintained graphically. The server-side business logic can be implemented in COBOL, RPG, or Java in the same style as current host-based interactive programs.

Jacada’s new Innovator creates a thin-client architecture where COBOl and RPG applications are delivered as Java, HTML or wireless code.

The challenge that most companies face today is that application developers supporting their business are typically COBOL or RPG-based. Jacada notes there are more than three million COBOL and RPG developers worldwide. By comparison, there are only 500,000 professional Java developers capable of creating enterprise-scale applications, according to the GartnerGroup, an analyst/research firm in Stamford, Conn.

“As companies build new applications to support their e-business needs, they only have two options,” says David Holmes, Jacada’s senior VP of marketing. “They can hire or contract developers to create Internet applications, or they can retrain their existing COBOL or RPG developers.”

According to Gartner, it takes nine months for an RPG developer to learn how to build Java applications—and only 60 percent of those that go through the training will succeed.

“With the Jacada Innovator, companies can take an existing application written in RPG or COBOL and replace the green screen calls with an API call to our Jacada server,” explains Holmes. “The Java GUI is now independent of any restrictions that the green screen may impose, because it is now communicating directly with the RPG or COBOL code. More significantly, you can give Jacada Innovator to RPG or COBOL programmers, and with only about a week’s worth of training, enable them to build new Internet applications using their RPG or COBOL skills, but deliver them as Java or HTML output.”

For ISVs, Innovator can take very large, robust applications and remove green screens, while keeping all the business logic and functionality built up over the years to deploy it as a true e-business offering. “Also, their RPG developers can build new applications or extensions with very little training,” comments Holmes. “In the ISV community, it’s very important to remain competitive, deliver new applications, and get away from green screen-based offerings.”

For end users, the benefits relate to what their alternative would have been if they did not select Innovator. One Jacada customer had two alternatives for delivering an e-business solution: reuse the existing applications or buy/build a new application and completely re-architect it. “Their estimates to complete an e-business solution without using Innovator was two to three years investment and $8 million to $10 million to buy or build an alternative solution,” says Holmes. “Using our technology, they had their application to market in less than 6 months at a fraction of the cost.”

Holmes notes that the most successful industries for Innovator are aerospace, automotive, federal government, financial services, health care, retail/distribution, and telecommunications. “It’s also an appropriate fit for any distributed networks of offices, employees or partners, that need to extend applications,” he adds.

Jacada Innovator Features

  • Automated translation to thin-client architecture. Existing host-centric applications are automatically converted to graphical thin-client solutions. Text-based screens are converted to GUIs and the host code is processed to remove green screens in favor of the Jacada Innovator API.
  • Create new application using existing skills. New business logic can be written in COBOL, RPG, or Java using the platform-independent Jacada Innovator API to converse with the Jacada Innovator thin-client GUIs.
  • Cross-platform GUI deployment. Users do not have to be dependent on an interface standard. Jacada Innovator supports the delivery of Java, HTML, or wireless code.
  • No additional software is required. Jacada Innovator is an open, end-to-end solution. No additional software or middleware is required to deploy scalable and thin-client applications.
  • Provides a graduated learning environment. Programmers learn Java incrementally by coding simple client extensions at first and growing into server side Java development.

    Jacada currently has more than 900 customers and over 50 partners/distributors. Pricing for the Jacada Innovator Software Development Kit starts at $10,000. Runtime pricing is based on number of users. For more information, visit their web site at www.jacada.com (new window).

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    Related Information:

  • Jacada Innovator Overview (new window)