Rocket® System Builder Extensible Architecture (SB/XA) Services

Why do I need SB/XA Services?

In today’s business environment, the constant availability of information is critical. Information needs to be available via multiple devices from multiple sources. Customers use mobile devices to search for and record data throughout the day.

Traditionally, activity is submitted online via a desktop location but this often involves recording activity and then transferring it – whether this is via your phone’s notes or calendar or on a piece of paper which happened to be handy at the time! The danger is that information is lost between the user recording an activity and the data being captured in the application.

How can I make my data available on multiple devices?

Rocket® System Builder Extensible Architecture (SB/XA) Services functionality provides the answer to this challenge. By delivering a REST API with the SB/XA application, your data and logic can be available via HTTP-based access. The advantages of using SB/XA Services as your REST tool include the fact that SB COMMON is maintained across API calls which reference persisted session data via the HTTP Header. You can increase the reach of your SB/XA-based application by connecting to new frameworks such as AngularJS and NodeJS, either as a data access layer for a new framework or as a microservice in a larger space.

Data is accessed via SB field definitions with conversions and validations automatically applied. The server-side business logic can be called directly as a paragraph or as a BASIC subroutine, the only caveat being that there is no screen input/output. Queries can be driven directly as an SB Select process with the standard sort, filter and page of an HTTP GET method.

Is the data secure?

Also, SB Security is leveraged with authentication using SB credentials therefor utilising the SB User and Group Security layer. In addition, all processes must be whitelisted for REST API access, for additional security.

Database connectivity is handled by the new Rocket Connection Manager which includes advanced connection pooling and diagnostics, a Web-based administrative interface and a REST API for a programmable user experience.

What can I achieve?

Accessing your data from a mobile environment enables features such as Native Controls, Pin Pad notification, and AutoComplete searches. In addition, SB/XA Services allows the integration of Push Notifications, Location services, and devices such as the camera, barcode or QR code reader with your application.

Watch this short SB Demo – Now in my pocket!

Your services are available not only to a web or mobile app of your own but also to a cloud based tool such as Slack (https://slack.com/). In our example (see image above), a manager is using Slack to act on and analyse information from multiple sources.  SB/XA Services can trigger a Slack notification and act on the response. Services can be also be integrated to report directly from your database using Slack’s built in slash command to call an SB select process; the same logic is used by each of the following UIs shown below:

What’s next?

Development does not stop here – we are looking at a screen-based web API, hoping to take that green screen or GUI form and make it available via a web page, preferably as HTML5. Watch this space!!!

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