Add intuitive action buttons to your grid rows

CategoryTip of the Month

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much more valuable is a button with an icon on it, compared to a string of words nested inside a row menu?  While a thousand times valuation differential may be a stretch, there's no doubt that a visible action button on a grid row is going to be considerably more intuitive to users, particularly new users who are exploring apps for the first time.  Such buttons also offer the added value of requiring one less click to trigger a row action.

Timeline

Best Practices for Managing your Valence Instances

CategoryTip of the Month

With the end of the year approaching, most companies find they have a rare opportunity to do some significant system maintenance as users go offline for the holidays.  In addition to, say, upgrading to IBM i OS 7.4, this may also be a good opportunity to rearrange your Valence setup so it's following a "best practice" configuration.  In a proper setup you can download and test new Valence builds without affecting any of your production or test instances.

Best Practice

Introducing Valence Fusion5250 - Integrating Green Screen with Web

Since its introduction in 2008, Valence has helped countless IBM i developers create top-notch web and mobile apps using some of the slickest UI technology available.  As the customer base grew, CNX introduced a number of additional development tools to Valence, including AutoCode and App Builder, to make the process of creating and deploying apps as easy as possible. 

Fusion5250

Convert your RPG-based reports into web apps

CategoryTip of the Month

PRTF to NAB

If your company's ERP system dates back to the AS/400 glory days, your users are likely accustomed to running programs that generate "old school" spool file output.  While working with printed reports was quite common in the past, today most users prefer to work in a more paperless fashion, opting for on-screen apps or downloaded spreadsheets wherever possible.

Showcase Your Key Business Metrics Through a Kiosk-Style App

With the advent of low-cost "Smart TV" units — flat screen monitors with integrated web browsing capability — it's easier than ever (and cheaper) to adorn your company's front lobby, cafeteria, shop floor or other high-traffic areas with automatically-updating displays that depict important business metrics in real time.  Using these TVs, or even "dumb" monitors attached to low-end PCs, key stats like sales numbers, inventory levels, picking performance, etc. can be shown to employees and guests without the old-school hassle of printing and replacing paper displays.

IBM i Developers: It's a Great Time to Embrace Low-Code App Builders

CategoryIBM iValenceNitro App Builder

Recently I've had some fascinating conversations with people regarding Nitro App Builder, the low-code app builder included with Valence.  In case you've never heard of it before, Nitro App Builder is a tool that's quickly taking over as the development method of choice for many apps that would have been coded manually in Valence just a year or two ago.  It creates really useful apps by configuring them interactively, with little or no programming required.

The Wild Evolution of AS/400 to IBM i

CategoryIBM iAS/400Valence

With IBM i turning 30 I thought it would be fun to recap the evolution of this amazing operating system over the years from my perspective. The first system I ever worked on was a model B50 way back in 1991, and of course it was called AS/400 at the time. I thought the machine was pure magic with its tan towers and reel-to-reel tape drive (some of you may have to look that up).

CNX Turns 22 Today!

CategoryValencePRMSBPCSAS/400IBM i

Twenty-two years ago today we officially registered CNX as an Illinois corporation (wow, that's a shocking thing for us to write), so we thought it might be fun to take a short trip down memory lane on this blog post.  So much has transpired in those years that we could write a book, so we will necessarily need to keep it brief here — perhaps one of us will write that book later!  

Anyway here it goes:

Bumping up the number of CGI jobs servicing your Valence apps

CategoryApacheIBM iPressTip of the MonthValence

Your IBM i HTTP Server powered by Apache is a powerful web-serving system akin to a bank staffed with multiple fast-working tellers. The AJAX requests coming in from your front-end apps are like customers entering the bank to perform transactions. Each "customer" queues up in an orderly line on a first-in/first-out basis, and is serviced by the next available "teller" as soon as they're finished dealing with the prior customer.

Controlling the colors in your charts and graphs

CategorychartscolorsJavaScriptNitro App BuilderTip of the MonthValence

Nitro Query apps containing charts or graphs can make conveying your company's business trends or performance metrics much more effective than showing raw numbers alone.  It's particularly common (and easy) to create a dashboard app that includes a grid of monthly sales details supplemented by a chart showing month-to-month performance.  This adds some great context to the lists of numbers.

Create an intuitive grid app with row selection, processing multiple transactions at once

CategorybuttonIBM iNitro App BuilderPressrow selectionsRPGTip of the MonthValence

Just about every business has a situation where users need to perform a single process against multiple items in one pass.  For example, you might have a list of openChecklits invoices that you'd like to flag as ready for payment, or a group of inventory items that you would like to transfer out of a special holding area.

Correcting issue with partially visible window on migrated AutoCode apps

CategoryAutoCodeExt JSIBM iJavaScriptrenderToSencha Architect

Older Valence file maintenance apps created through Nitro AutoCode can sometimes exhibit a display problem upon migration to Valence 5.1.  This can also be true for AutoCode-based file maintenance apps created in 5.1 builds prior to 5.1.20171202.0.  The most common symptom is that a portion of the edit/add window displays outside of the portal boundary, as shown here.

Make your Yes/No grid columns POP with checkmarks instead of text

CategorycheckboxcheckmarkEdit gridgridNitro App BuilderPressTip of the MonthValence

Wrapping up 2017 with a simple but powerful tip for Nitro Query grid apps... Very often lists of business data include columns that can be classified as boolean, with text representing values of yes/no, true/false, 1/0, etc.  When you're creating a Nitro Query grid app that includes such columns, you can make "truthy" values stand out much more clearly by replacing the column text with a visual checkmark.