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.

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 open 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. Rather than making your users do individual transactions for each invoice that needs to be paid, or each product that needs to be moved, you could significantly speed up the operation by providing your users a list of selectable records and an action button.

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. 

Leverage SQL to Create IBM i Web Apps - FAST!

CategoryNitro App BuilderPressTip of the MonthValence

Whether you're a seasoned SQL pro or just learning the ropes of SQL syntax on IBM i, the SQL parser built into Nitro Query App Builder is an invaluable tool you can leverage to quickly generate a web-based report for your users, or even a file maintenance application containing multiple joined files. SQL-based data sources were introduced in Valence 5.1 back in May 2017, and the feature was formally removed from Beta status this month.

 

Convert a green screen query into a web or mobile app in minutes

CategoryNitro App BuilderPressTip of the MonthValence

The tried and true IBM i Query Utility (as accessed via STRQRY or WRKQRY) is mainstay in many IBM i shops.  But it goes without saying that the user interface associated with the configuration and the output of an IBM i Query leaves a bit to be desired. This is particularly true when users must navigate through the query's definition to change selection or sort criteria.

Using a Validation Program with Nitro Query’s Edit Grid Widget

CategoryEdit gridNitro App BuilderTip of the MonthValenceValidation Program

One of the most powerful widgets available in Nitro Query is the Edit Grid.  Traditionally queries are read-only, but with an Edit Grid you can actually allow users to update records in a single-file data source — right from within the query itself!  In some cases you may find you can simply create a query for data entry in lieu of coding an actual app, saving yourself a ton of time and effort.