Briefs: Construct Spectrum, IM tidal wave, TestGUI

UI design tool for mainframe hosts; IM growth forecast; functional and regression testing for GUIs

Software AG Updates UI Design Tool for Mainframe Hosts

Software AG announced version 4.5 of Construct Spectrum, a browser user interface (UI) and Web services generator for mainframe hosts.

Construct Spectrum accelerates the development of browser UIs, APIs, and Web services. It serves as a front-end for Software AG’s Natural 4GL programming environment.

Developers can use Construct Spectrum 4.5 to generate user interfaces for a Web browser out of a business component’s interface definitions. Exposing an application via HTTP and in the context of a Web browser interface gives it a much broader reach.Construct Spectrum can generate an appropriate graphical user interface (GUI) control for each element of a business component’s interface, depending on the data type and range of values.

In addition to automating the creation of data input/output controls, Construct Spectrum also generates navigation bars for controlling application flow. Navigation controls can be generated using high-level specifications – which are maintained through the Natural Construct application generator—or as a result of manual specifications configured at generation time.

The front-ends are implemented in HTML (and JavaScript) that's dynamically created at run-time by applying a Construct Spectrum-created style sheet (XSL) to a Web service (XML), which is also generated and based on Microsoft .NET.Construct Spectrum can also generate Web services out of component interface definitions. Software AG positions Natural Engineer, a code analysis and re-engineering tool, as a complement to Construct Spectrum. Natural Engineer takes monolithic application code and decomposes it into modules that are then accessible by Construct Spectrum. Construct Spectrum is part of Natural's remote development architecture Single Point of Development (SPoD).

Available now for OS/390, z/OS and VSE/ESA. See for more details.

Instant Messaging Tidal Wave to Hit Corporate IT by Scott Bekker(Courtesy of

Corporate instant messaging will take off in the next four years, according to a new study by messaging researchers at The Radicati Group.

The study projects that the number of corporate IM accounts will grow from an estimated 60 million in 2003 to an estimated 350 million in 2007. That growth in accounts will amount to an annual revenue market of $344 million by 2007, according to Radicati Group. The biggest surge in usage is expected in North America.

The emergence of that market will spur a new market sector for tools focused on IM management and enterprise development. However, the Radicati study predicts "that while organizations will be increasingly looking to log, manage and secure corporate IM, they are not willing to pay more than $11.95 on average for it."

Read the complete article here:

Original Revamps GUI-testing Product

Original Software announced version 3.1 of TestGUI, a GUI application testing solution for SQL Server, Oracle, and DB2 databases.

TestGUI 3.1 provides functional and regression testing capabilities for user acceptance and QA testers.

The program captures and analyzes individual screen components and related actions, which lets it build a picture of GUI screen content and activity. Major languages and technologies supported in the latest release include: Microsoft’s .NET framework, Microsoft COM and ActiveX, Cool:Plex, Seagull J Walk and all Microsoft VB and C++ objects and controls. TestGui 3.1 includes a new technology Original Software calls “Tri Sense” that exploits three methods to identify and interrogate Microsoft standard objects, Microsoft Active Accessibility objects and controls, and Microsoft Component Object Model (COM or ActiveX) objects, using COM rules.

As a result of TestGUI’s integration with SQL Server, Oracle, and DB2, users can to store test scripts, results, and data on the server, where these resources can be accessed by all relevant members of a development team. Available now, see for more information.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.