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Profound Logic Software Releases Profound UI Version 4.5 with Open Source Framework

Profound Logic Software is proud to announce the release of Profound UI version 4.5. Since releasing their IBM i modernization and development platform in 2010 alongside the announcement of Rational Open Access for RPG by IBM, Profound Logic has been very active in producing regular updates to Profound UI. This release underscores their commitment to ongoing development based on the feedback of the IBM i user community.

The top features in version 4.5 include:

  • The move to an open-source development framework
  • The addition of RPGsp to the Profound UI Suite
  • Security enhancements and parameter markers
  • Updates to the Visual Designer and widgets

New Open-source Development Framework

With the release of version 4.5, Profound Logic is making the Profound UI development framework open source. Users can access the source code at no cost on the developer site GitHub (https://github.com/ProfoundLogic/profoundui-framework). Examples of RPG and PHP programs that use the open-source framework are also available on the GitHub site.

Profound Logic listened to the IBM i user community and made the decision to make its development framework open source for a number of reasons:

  • It gives users better control over the software
  • It eliminates the concern over vendor lock-in
  • The cost of ownership is lowered
  • Greater security and product quality is assured

The features offered within the Profound UI Framework are in some ways similar to what's offered in other popular JavaScript frameworks, such as jQuery, ExtJS, and Dojo. However, unlike most other JavaScript frameworks, Profound UI is designed to be driven by a server-side language, such as RPG or PHP, rather than just client-side JavaScript. This way, RPG and PHP developers can be productive right away in creating functional Web 2.0 applications. They can do most tasks using just server-side code, while HTML, JavaScript, and CSS coding would only be required for advanced functionality.

The user interface itself is defined through a simple JSON configuration, rather than programming. In Profound UI, this JSON file is referred to as a Rich Display File. Once the UI is described, it can be controlled by RPG/CGI, PHP, or any other Web-capable language.

In addition to creating applications using JSON in the open-source framework, customers can avoid the effort of manual coding and continue to develop applications using our commercially available modules in the Profound UI suite, including a full-featured Visual Designer for describing the UI, an RPG Open Access Handler and an automated green screen DDS-to-Rich UI conversion module.

RPGsp as a Profound UI Module

RPGsp was the predecessor to the Profound UI modernization framework, and provides many time-saving features that enable RPG developers to reuse RPG assets and extend or create modern, Web-based applications. By including RPGsp as a module in the Profound UI suite, customers now have a more complete modernization solution by having the ability to perform both stateful (with the Profound UI Open Access Handler) and stateless (with RPGsp) development. RPGsp can be used with both a hand-coded HTML interface or a Dynamic HTML interface built using the Profound UI Visual Designer.

Because RPGsp supports stateless development, users can create Web pages and applications, like an E-Commerce site, that will be recognized by search engines. Additionally, RPGsp provides:

  • Wizards, templates and code snippets to support ease of use and a short learning curve
  • Support for dynamic fields and data-driven components
  • Full support for JavaScript, CSS, HTML, RPG, CL as well as XML, AJAX, and Web services
  • A unique compile technology performs up to four times faster than other native CGI technologies, such as CGIDEV2

SQL Security and Parameter Markers

Before version 4.5, Profound UI users could control SQL components by using their own code, but this could allow malicious activities by SQL injection. To protect against this, we've introduced an Enhanced SQL Security mode to Profound UI. This mode prevents developers from writing code with security flaws.

Profound UI 4.5 includes a popular feature in SQL called SQL parameter markers. In Profound UI, SQL parameter markers make it easier for developers to code and configure database-driven components, such as drop-down menus and charts. It also allows you to quickly and easily set up interdependent components and enable features such as drill-downs.

Visual Designer and Widget Updates

Profound UI 4.5 includes several enhancements to the Visual Designer module that have been requested by users to reduce development time. These include:

  • The ability to Copy/Paste across designer windows and tabs, made possible by the use of the new HTML5 local storage capability. Now, developers can use the 'Copy/Paste' buttons in the ribbon to take advantage of this feature, and can also copy/paste entire record formats to significantly reduce development time
  • Copy/paste capabilities are also available in the Genie module, and between Genie and Profound UI
  • A new Visual Designer optimized specifically for PHP and CGI development
  • The ability to control the canvas size and rotate the canvas to simulate a mobile application

This release also includes updates to widgets, including:

  • Several new chart options, including the ability to make charts "clickable" to view additional information
  • Layouts, which allow developers to group Widgets so they can be controlled together
  • Click to Call and Click to Navigate capabilities in mobile applications

For more information and a complete list of features in Profound UI 4.5, visit: http://www.profoundlogic.com/docs/display/PUI/What%27s+New

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