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BCD's Presto 4.5 Makes It Even Faster to Modernize and Give Legacy IBM i Green Screens a Web GUI

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Chicago, IL - February 19, 2013 - BCD Int'l., Inc., (, an IBM i industry leader for over 30 years, has unveiled a new version of Presto™, the rapid green screen web enablement and modernization tool. This release (version 4.5) contains many new features, including a Visual Editor palette, updated subfile detection, HTML5 SmartCharts™ and performance improvements that render web-enabled screens up to three times faster than previous versions.

As pressure to migrate IBM i applications to the web has increased, IBM i shops have been tasked with finding tools that can accomplish this feat in a timely and cost-effective manner. According to Eric Figura, BCD's Director of Marketing and Sales, "Presto was already the fastest way to give legacy green screens a web GUI, but Presto 4.5 further decreases the time and effort needed to enhance the look and functionality of the web-enabled screens. This allows IBM i shops to extend the life of their proven IBM i applications and take advantage of modern technologies without the enormous time investment and steep learning curve involved with rewriting their applications."

New Palette Makes It Easier to Add UI Elements

Presto's palette with an automatically styled subfile

The Presto Designer, illustrating a SmartChart added by dragging and dropping from the Palette.

The new 'palette' in Presto's Visual Editor makes it easier to add new UI elements to web-enabled screens without coding HTML or CSS. You pick from an illustrated list of UI elements, such as drop down boxes, autocompletes and charts, then drag and drop the elements onto the screen.

This feature paves the way for allowing BCD (and you) to add a wide range of pre-defined custom elements to Presto's Visual Editor. In the very near future, BCD will introduce multiple variations of containers and headings, which reduces the need to set properties or make CSS changes to style elements to your liking.

Improved Subfile Detection and Auto-Styling

BCD has replaced Presto's original table detection feature with a Subfile Detection option that leads to nicer looking subfile screens without any manual intervention. When Presto detects a subfile and renders it as a table, it automatically applies formatting that includes alternating row colors and column headings.

HTML5 SmartCharts for Mobile Devices

HTML5 SmartChart displayed in a tablet.

An HTML5 SmartChart displayed in a tablet.

BCD continues to enhance Presto's mobile support by adding the ability to generate HTML5 versions of SmartCharts, allowing you to display single-series charts on non-Flash devices such as iPads.

This feature adds on to other mobile-specific features that were introduced in version 4.0, including mobile-optimized layouts and a virtual keyboard for function keys.

Significant Performance Improvements - Up to Three Times Faster

You should see significant performance improvements (up to 3x faster) for web-enabled screens that don't have customizations. This is a result of shifting more of the page element positioning logic to the server before the page is delivered to the user. Screens that have been customized with the Visual Editor will also be rendered faster, but not at the same proportion as non-customized screens. Whether end users notice the improvement will depend on the number of customizations to a screen and the browser they use. Screens with fewer customizations that are accessed on older browsers will have a larger improvement.

Other Key New Features

Along with over a hundred less noticeable features and fixes, Presto 4.5 also includes the following new features:

  • Create your own skins and edit them faster with the new "Clone" and "Modify Skin" options in the Presto Designer.
  • Edit CSS and other custom files directly in the Presto Designer.
  • Support for dynamic library and file names in SQL.
  • Support for trimming screen values, which makes it easier to use custom SQL queries and to add links to PDFs or images using data from the screen.
  • Set datepicker options based on browser language.
  • New default style for the export data to HTML table feature.

About Presto

WebSmart Presto is the fastest way to give green screens a rich web GUI that is accessible from browsers on PCs and mobile devices. It transforms all green screens (RPG and COBOL programs, menus, third party and system screens) to web pages without requiring any source code changes. Presto also gives you the most flexibility to add new functionality with its Visual Editor or by changing the HTML, CSS or JavaScript. You can request a free trial of Presto 4.5 at

About BCD

BCD is one of the most successful software organizations in the IBM i marketplace. They have over 30 years of experience and have successfully helped thousands of organizations worldwide modernize using BCD software solutions. BCD has received 40 industry awards for software excellence, is a member of IBM's IBM i ISV Advisory Board and an IBM Advanced Business Partner.

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