CNX Announces Major Update to Valence 5.2 at POWERUp 2019 Introduces an HTML5-based 5250 emulator along with other expanded functionality
May 20, 2019
ANAHEIM, CA. CNX announced at the COMMON POWERUp 2019 spring conference today the general availability of version 5.2+ (“5.2 Plus”) of the Valence Framework for IBM i. Marking the 16th major update since Valence 1.0 was first introduced in 2008, this latest Valence build brings expanded functionality to core developer components of the software, along with a new mechanism for seamlessly integrating legacy apps into the browser.
For long-established IBM i sites supporting programs that herald back to the AS400 days, one of the more noticeable enhancements in this latest Valence release is a brand-new terminal app called Fusion5250. This unique HTML5-based 5250 emulator is being released in Beta with this build. Valence administrators can activate the feature for their users via a new setting in the Valence Portal Admin app.
“Over the years many of our customers have indicated they’d like to move some of their legacy green screen apps into the browser to run alongside new modern apps designed with Valence,” said Richard Milone, CNX Co-founder and Managing Partner. “There are of course other web-based ways of performing terminal emulation, but most of those options tend to be a bit clunky. The experience for the user is often so poor that they wind up preferring to flip between the browser and a separate stand- alone emulator to get their jobs done.”
The design of Fusion5250 solves this with a single-page Valence app that opens a web socket to the IBM i server, providing immediate two-way responsiveness which works very much like the user would expect from a terminal. “Under the covers, Valence is actually converting the 5250 data stream into standard JSON segments for use in the emulator, which opens up a lot of tantalizing possibilities for new Valence features,” said Milone. “One of the more interesting enhancements we’re looking at involves the ability to set up special ‘5250 macros’ to convert the output from a series of green screens into a data source for Valence apps, or even to respond to external web service calls with JSON data derived from the 5250 data stream.”
For the next several months CNX is encouraging its Valence customers to try out the Fusion5250 app and provide feedback on its usability. Once the core functionality of the app is deemed stable, CNX will begin working on integration features to link Fusion5250 with other Valence functions.
Beyond the new emulator, Nitro App Builder (or “NAB”) continues to be the flagship feature of Valence. Using NAB, RPG developers as well as advanced users familiar with their IBM i database can create fully functional web and mobile apps without any prior web development experience. Recent NAB enhancements include SQL parser improvements, new map and pivot grid functions and support for PDF downloads in addition to Excel.
“The CNX development team has been making huge investments into NAB,” said Johnny Major, CNX Director of Product Development. “Our objective is to provide IBM i developers with a tool that meets the majority of their app development and deployment requirements super fast, and in most cases without having to write a single line of code — though the option to extend these apps with RPG-based business logic is of course always there.”
This latest version of Valence for IBM i is free to trial for up to 90 days. Premium development features, including the Nitro apps, are activated on a per-IBM i partition basis for an unlimited number of users and developers under terms of an enterprise license. Valence can also be licensed commercially by software companies looking to give their IBM i applications a modern user interface.
For additional Valence 5.2+ details, and to download the software, please visit www.cnxcorp.com/valence.
About CNX: Headquartered in Chicago, IL, CNX Corporation develops and markets Valence Framework for IBM i. Designed explicitly for developing IBM i web and mobile apps, Valence Framework uses Sencha Ext JS for the user interface and communicates directly with RPG business logic on IBM Power System servers running IBM i. Valence Framework includes a multilingual web portal for logging in and launching applications, and runs entirely through the IBM i integrated Apache server – no additional severs or hardware is required. For more information visit www.cnxcorp.com.