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Presto Instantly Web-Enables System i 5250 Apps with No Code Changes, Now GA

Keep your System i relevant by instantly web enabling all your green screen applications to modern browser based applications with Presto. BCD’s newest offering instantly modernizes 5250 applications while offering a flexible pricing model to match all size client needs.

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For Immediate Release

CHICAGO, October 2, 2008 – Business Computer Design, Int’l. Inc. (, a market leader in System i and multi-platform application modernization solutions, has officially released Presto, their new solution designed for rapid 5250 green screen application modernization. Presto uses advanced web enabling technology to instantly create a browser-based interface over all RPG, Cobol and menu applications while adding mouse navigation. The new modern look with improved UI meets the requirements users and management demand. Web enabling is more cost effective and faster to implement than re-writing applications. Presto also includes an IDE (interactive development environment) for further customization of the instantly web enabled screens and UI by adding images, graphs, links, Google Maps, drop-down boxes, AJAX calls, viewing data from other systems and platforms, and SOA / Web Services. Presto supports multi-languages and multi-environments.

Presto is completely non-invasive to existing green screen applications. 5250 applications are deployed to the web with NO changes to RPG, COBOL, or DDS source code and no need to recompile any programs. Users do not even need to have the display file source since existing programs are completely unaffected. Original green screen applications will still be available. In a matter of minutes all 5250 applications can become instantly web enabled. Out-of-the-box and in less than a day users can install Presto and have all green screen applications and menus web enabled. Users simply start the pre-configured Apache web server instance, enter an IP address and they’re up and running. 5250 screens are dynamically presented as web pages with absolutely no 5250 OLTP as it uses 100% batch processes.

According to Duncan Kenzie, CTO of BCD’s software development group, “It is difficult for many organizations to justify the resources and effort needed to completely rewrite applications in RPG CGI, Java, .Net or PHP. In most cases people aren’t looking to make a drastic change to their applications. These applications have been in production for years and their users are comfortable with them. They do however want improvements like browser based access and UI changes including drop down boxes, images, Google maps, calendars and the ability to navigate through applications using a mouse instead of a keyboard, all of which are very important for new users. We’ve made it very easy for them to accomplish this with Presto.”

Evolves With Your Needs

While Presto instantly creates a web-based UI for 5250 green screen applications, its value in terms of re-engineering user application environments doesn’t stop there. Presto is extremely flexible and allows users to further enhance their web-enabled screens at their own pace.

Presto enables users to go as far as they choose. Presto includes a Windows-based IDE that offers full control and access to the client-side code to integrate new UI elements. Global options including many skins for the look and feel of screens, and function key appearance options allow users to enhance all 5250 screens in a single operation. Presto provides significantly faster results than tools that simply web-enable screens one at a time. By providing users with full access to the HTML of the automatically web enabled screens Presto lets users extend the applications further by adding AJAX and SOA / Web Services functionality. Users can also add data from other sources, servers and databases.

Presto can be the base tool for organizations using the System i to get on the road to simplified modernization. Users can go even further with BCD by combining Presto with WebSmart PHP or WebSmart ILE to create new System i and multi-platform web applications. Users can add other integrated BCD modernization solutions including; Nexus Portal for controlled and secured access to applications (web enabled and other web apps), documents, web menus and dashboards for users, clients and trading partners; Clover Query for real-time web query with graphical drill-downs and report development, and Catapult for automated report and document distribution via email, PDF, forms, fax and more with automated web archiving and indexing to the Nexus portal. BCD also offers complete professional services to assist organizations with their modernization initiatives. With BCD it’s now possible to start with instant web enablement and advance to complete web application and business process modernization using an integrated suite of products supported by one vendor.

A Global and Enterprise Class Solution, plus benefits for ISVs and BPs

Presto supports multiple languages and multiple environments. Organizations with applications deployed around the world can use it to modernize their System i applications across the entire enterprise. Presto also provides ‘environments’ which are sets of global settings for a group of programs and screens on a client system that would typically comprise an application. Environment versioning allows ISVs and Business Partners for example to make a single application have multiple customized presentations so each client can have a separate, tailored environment therefore simplifying multi-site management therefore saving time and costs.

Presto does not require any additional software or middleware other than what is included in i5/OS. All end users need to run the Presto web enabled applications is a browser. No PC client is needed so if you make a change, everyone has it instantly. Presto uses the free HTTP server powered by Apache that’s included with every System i.

Application Frameworks Included with Full Featured Portal

BCD offers Nexus Portal with Presto. While it is an option, it is strongly recommended as Nexus integrates with Presto and all web applications. It includes tight security, with controlled access to applications, web menus, documents and dashboards. End-users only see the applications and content they are authorized to see. The portal provides secured single point access while becoming a secured front end to Presto web enabled applications and others. The web menu system helps integrate web enabled applications with existing web pages or apps. Nexus also includes value added portlets such as a Executive Dashboards, Spool file viewer, PDF creation, Calendars and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) that allows scanned documents, images, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, invoices… to be added, secured and shared. BCD’s Catapult auto-files and auto-indexes reports, invoices, PO’s and more using its automated System i report and document distribution functions.

Innovative Pricing Options

BCD offers unique licensing options including Base Licensing - This is a fixed price by tier and includes a certain number concurrent seats for each tier making it a more affordable way to license. Users can choose Unlimited User Licensing - This is for organizations with a lot of end-users making this an even more affordable option in comparison to basic concurrent licensing. To see which licensing works best for you and pricing call BCD.

If you have questions on Presto or would like to schedule a Live Web Demo or attend a Webinar please contact BCD at (630) 986-0800, or e-mail A product specialist will assist you. Presto is a component of BCD’s ClearPath Modernization Suite. Modernization means different things to different people and BCD is the only System i vendor who offers a family of award winning integrated modernization components that allow you to build your own customized solution. Visit for details. Take BCD’s modernization profile and receive a Free customized Modernization Report and a $1,000 BCD Software Certificate.

About BCD

BCD is one of the most successful software organizations in the IBM System i space. BCD has proudly received 35+ industry awards for software excellence. They have 30 years of experience in the IBM midrange marketplace and to date over 10,000 organizations have licensed over 30,000 BCD software solutions worldwide. BCD is a member of IBM’s System i ISV Advisory Council and is an IBM Advanced Business Partner. All of BCD’s key solutions are included on IBM’s System i Developer Roadmap and are IBM Server Proven.