• October 20, 2020

Productive on Power Part One: User Experience Modernization

Introduction

There are companies willing to invest millions of dollars and take enormous business risk to move their legacy applications and data to new platforms. Yet most don’t take the time, or invest the minimal effort needed, to examine the existing options for delivering the latest user experiences on IBM i. If they did, they would find that their understanding of IBM i is—ironically—outdated.

There is almost no interface that can be built on Windows, Linux or UNIX systems that you can’t do as well—if not better and cheaper—on IBM i. And there is already a thriving ecosystem of tools to help companies modernize quickly.

Welcome to the first of our three-part “Productive on Power: Bringing the latest User Experiences to IBM i” blog series. Over the next few weeks, we’ll cover modernization initiatives that are making users and customers more productive and more satisfied.

These posts will discuss cost-effective strategies to bring great experiences to your IBM i by:

  • Modernizing the UX of your workflows and green screens
  • Enabling web services using APIs
  • Modernizing without compromising security

First up—modernizing user experiences for IBM i!

User experience modernization

Many modernization projects start with the goal of “eliminating the green screens,” which is a completely reasonable idea in most cases. Green screens tend to be the first thing executives point to when they express their frustration with the state of IBM Power running IBM i.

However, like any other IT project, IBM i owners need to consider the most cost-effective approach for achieving this goal. Most IBM i applications have thousands of screens for various setup, administration, data entry, and inquiry functions. Redesigning and rewriting all of them in new technology is a daunting, expensive, and time-consuming project. But there are tools available that that will automate much of the process for you—all on IBM Power.

Consider the company’s modernization objectives holistically and choose the right tool for each modernization challenge. In most IBM I environments there are some screens being used constantly, and others (often the vast majority) that are rarely accessed. There are automated transformation tools that simply transform a green screen into a web page for simple, high-speed modernization that might be appropriate for the infrequently used screens. For screens that are in constant use, a more sophisticated tool that allows for significant customization of the look and feel and the application workflow is often the better choice.

Today’s wrap-up

When making strategic decisions about your business’ future computing platforms, IBM i should be evaluated for its real potential. Executives should define the business challenges they want to address and the opportunities they want to exploit before deciding which platform most cost-effectively meets their needs.

If you want to offer a leading user experience, IBM i has the tools and technologies to help you create it.

Coming next

Our next post will dive deep into web-service enablement for IBM i. Enabling your IBM i applications with web services gives you greater flexibility when it comes to

building advanced UIs and makes it easy to integrate disparate applications together. When modernizing the user experience for frequently used screens, developers need tools that offer the kind of flexibility their diverse user groups require.

And remember! If you’re interested in talking to a modernization expert about your UX challenges, contact us today.

 

Rebecca Dilthey

Rebecca Dilthey 6 Posts

Rebecca Dilthey is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Rocket Software.

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