BCD makes Web Enablement with Presto even more flexible in Third Major Release
For Immediate Release
Database Driven Drop Down Boxes and SmartCharts using SQL Queries
Drop down boxes and charts populated by DB2 data improve the end user experience by making information easier to find or enter and they certainly add a visual appeal that isn’t achievable in green screens. While it’s always been possible to add these to your Presto web enabled screens it just became a lot easier in version 3. Dynamic DB2 drop down boxes can now be added using the Visual Editor with no HTML coding needed. The drop down boxes are very flexible and powerful because another new feature in Presto, SQL Queries, is used to populate them.
The SQL Queries feature allows you to extend your existing applications with new UI elements that retrieve server data non-invasively. It gives you the ability to use server data and to create new business logic not included in the original programs without requiring any changes to the original application source code or program object. With SQL Queries you can create and store SQL statements that can be used in Presto. The SQL statements can be sophisticated and can include standard clauses such as JOIN, WHERE and GROUP BY. You can even use existing screen values in your SQL statements to make them truly dynamic.
You can also use SQL Queries, as well as data from your screens, to populate the new SmartCharts extensions in Presto. SmartCharts is a set of dynamic charts that turn data into dynamic bar, pie, line and other graphs. The charts enable users to more easily assimilate critical business data and to extend the functionality of their applications. SmartCharts has already been integrated into other web development solutions from BCD and has always been included with Presto, but now has much tighter integration.
Currently you can use SQL Queries to populate drop down boxes and SmartCharts. However, BCD is expanding this feature in the coming months to support other elements and it will become part of a larger SQL feature that will do more than query database files.
Improved Mouse and Cursor Options and other New Features
Improved navigation is a big benefit of web enabled screens and your mouse and cursor play a big role in this. You can now use your mouse wheel in Presto to scroll through subfiles. Previously in Presto you had the option to set your cursor in 5250 or web mode, however, many users wanted a hybrid approach. You now have the option to individually set each cursor option including over type and retaining spaces in fields.
The alchemy continues with Presto v3's improved automatic panel detection. Panel detection handles screen recognition in real time and in most cases eliminates the need for you to manually identify screens. Developers now have more flexibility in how they define the areas of the screen that are used to auto recognize screens by being able to specify end and start rows and columns. Presto has also supported multi-languages since its initial release and Unicode support has now been added to the panel identification process which makes it possible for organizations who develop and customize their web enabled screens to run those applications in multiple languages - either concurrently on the same IBM i or by moving the application to another IBM i that is set to a different language.
Recently Added Features Included
Still other important features from a previous release of the product are included in this release. “Since the introduction of Presto, new versions containing enhancements and new features have been released about every three months,” according to Marcel Sarrasin, BCD's technical marketing manager. “Several important new features were released in version 2.4 and play a significant role in this major release.”These focused on support in the Visual Editor for both new elements and on the ability to control CSS. The new elements available include div tags that can be used to create containers to graphically group elements on a page, b uttons to link to other pages or perform actions, images to display graphical elements on the page, links to make it easier to navigate your screens using your mouse and to link to other web applications and pages, and iFrames to embed other web apps or pages in your web enabled screens. You can control CSS classes through the Visual Editor to makes it easy to change the properties of screen elements such as colors, borders, alignment, classes and many more.
Availability and Licensing
Presto 3 is available to evaluate or as an upgrade, and can be downloaded from the company's website www.bcdsoftware.com where you can also watch a webinar on Presto and the new features in version 3. For more information, please call BCD at (630) 986-0800, or forward your e-mail request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Established customers can download Presto 3 from the BCD customer portal www.mybcdsoftware.com.
BCD offers unique licensing options including Base Licensing. This is a fixed price by tier and includes a certain number of concurrent seats for each tier, making it a more affordable way to license. Users can choose Unlimited User Licensing, a unique option for organizations with many end-users, making this an even more affordable option in comparison to basic concurrent licensing. Call BCD to find out which licensing and pricing works best for you.
BCD is one of the most successful software organizations in the IBM System i space. BCD has proudly received 40+ industry awards for software excellence. They have over 30 years of experience in the IBM midrange marketplace and to date more than 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.
Presto facilitates an easy transition to web development for RPG and COBOL programmers. It rapidly converts all your IBM i green screen apps to web pages without requiring any source code changes. Presto provides significantly faster results than those tools which web-enable screens one at a time or require source changes.
Presto gives users the tools needed to further enhance those web-enabled screens at the user’s own pace, screen-by-screen or program-by-program. It includes a Windows-based IDE that offers full control and access to the client-side code as well as a Visual Editor to integrate new UI elements. 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.