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Less Talk, More Action

Rich UI enhancements put the B in RBD 8, Part 2


 

In “Business Logic Rules,” I shared some background on thin clients and rich clients and why those concepts should matter to you as you’re writing the business logic and programming for the Web. With the release of version 8 of Rational Business Developer (RBD), the flagship product of EGL, IBM does the tedious plumbing of business programming and leaves you free to focus on the business rules.

I’m presenting in Las Vegas this week so it’s only fitting to paraphrase The King: it’s time for a little less conversation and a lot more action. Let’s get practical in our look at the new RBD, starting with FormManager.

4GL Rich Business Constructs

The biggest enhancement that comes with RBD 8 is the capability to drop a record onto the display and have it automatically generate the whole UI form for that record. All the fields will be added along with their labels to create a complete data-entry panel. This level of integration with business data brings the Rich UI tooling up to par with its EGL thin-client counterpart, taking it from pretty UI designer to fully functional business application-development tool.

Every green-screen designer relies on a basic programming pattern that nearly every page-design tool misses—the capability to edit fields and flag errors. In the 5250 world, errors are a standard part of every display. When it comes to error reporting we have an embarrassment of riches—display attributes conditioned with indicators, error messages from ERRMSG and ERRMSGID, and the Cadillac of 5250 error reporting, the error message subfile. Few design tools even touch the surface of these requirements, but RBD provides all the pieces and does it automatically through the FormManager. I consider FormManager to be the first production example of what I call a 4GL Business Construct for Rich UI, where all the tedious plumbing of business programming is done for you.

 

Joe Pluta is the founder and chief architect of Pluta Brothers Design Inc. Joe can be reached at joepluta@plutabrothers.com.



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Less Talk, More Action

Rich UI enhancements put the B in RBD 8, Part 2

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