Web Application Development Tools for Windows and IBM i (System i, iSeries, AS/400

By: Lansa  09-12-2011
Keywords: Web Development, Application Development, web applications

LANSA offers a wide range of Web application development tools

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The ability to develop and maintain Web applications is an essential skill for companies participating in the online world. Web applications are available to existing and potential customers, remote staff and mobile sales people using any device that supports a browser – a feat that is impractical for rich-client applications where the application software needs to be installed on every device. Web applications help companies by delegating work to customers (e.g., placing orders via a Web site) thereby reducing the administrative workload. Customers benefit as Web applications are available at their convenience from a browser running on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smart mobile devices.

As Web applications are available all the time and accessible from anywhere, they extend the potential customer base - the reach of Web applications alone justifies the investment.

Web applications use an architecture that breaks applications into discrete parts, using multiple programming languages and deploying the applications on several layers of technology. For example, HTML and JavaScript in the browser, C# on the Web server, C# or Java on the application server and SQL for the database. The architecture makes Web application development complex, especially for developers with little experience building Web applications.

LANSA's development tools insulate developers from the complexities of Web application development. This helps developers with little or no experience building Web applications to become proficient more quickly. The flexibility built into the development tools also caters to experienced developers who want greater control over development artifacts. Developers can start their Web applications from scratch, use the Visual LANSA Framework as a foundation for their Web applications, generate Web applications using a wizard, or transform and extend 5250 applications as Web applications.

How to choose from LANSA's Web application development tools

LANSA provides a number of tools for Web application development, so choosing the right one depends on the type of Web development you want to do and your existing application portfolio.

Build a new Web application from a framework

If Web development is so difficult how does LANSA make it easier?

LANSA removes the complexity from Web development by automating common application development tasks:

  • User interface – Wizards and an application framework provide automated user interface design and build.
  • Business rules and logic – declarative tools for preparing and editing business rules and logic, that are stored in a metadata repository.
  • Database – built-in interfaces and connections for databases coupled with database triggers that are generated automatically from the business rules and logic in a metadata repository.

Developing Web applications with LANSA is easier because our tools are designed to allow people with appropriate skills to work in parallel on different sections of an application. Business analysts and users define the data and business rules. Web designers create or change page layouts and themes for the user interface. Developers build code to interact with the user interface, enforce business rules and update databases.

Features of LANSA's Web application development tools

  • Wizards for generating Web applications quickly – reduces the code that developers need to write
  • Built-in database interfaces – easily connect to popular databases
  • Gallery of reusable components – speeds up developing new Web applications
  • Custom reusable components – reusing components promotes increasingly productive development
  • Meta data repository to store data definitions and business rules centrally – removes repeated validation code in each application
  • Graphical editor for page layouts – faster page design
  • Gallery of themes – reduces the effort needed to write cascading style sheets (CSS)
  • Custom themes – Web designers can create custom themes to add to the gallery
  • Visual application framework (includes navigation, page layout, search, lists and properties) – prototyping applications reduces the development cycle

Developers of almost all levels of skills and experience can use LANSA's development tools. Experienced Web developers have complete control over all facets of the application and less experienced developers can use the wizards and the framework, making all developers more productive.

What do we mean by Web application development?

To a Web designer, Web development means designing a Web site, i.e., working out the site structure, navigation, page layouts, images, themes and colors. To a Web developer, Web development means building an information management application based on Web application architecture that is hosted on a Web site. The concepts are easily confused because they both use the same technology.

LANSA's Web application development tools are designed to make it easy for software developers to build information management applications that use Web technologies. Software developers work with Web designers who design the user interface (deciding the page layout and images) while the software developers add the components that interact with the applications running on the servers.

Keywords: Application Development, web application, Web Application Development, web applications, Web Development

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