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LongRange RPG, Not Playing Games

Lansa has announced the availability of the LongRange RPG development tool. This Report Program Generator offering is intended for business-focused mobile application development for companies utilizing IBM i technology in their Line-of-Business operations. LongRange is positioned as a route to potentially circumvent the use of skills including HTML5, CSS3, PHP, JavaScript, Java, or Objective-C.

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NOTE: IBM i technology (formerly known as i5/OS) runs on IBM Power Systems servers (and, of course, others) to offer a scalable and virus-resistant architecture with what Big Blue describes as "proven resiliency" combining relational database, security, web services, networking, and storage-management capabilities.

LongRange ships with fully programmed application examples, pages of sample code, a set of online tutorials, and a community forum. Its makers say that its differentiator is that programmers only need RPG or CL and DDS to build native mobile apps, plus the same RPG or CL programs will service both Apple iOS and Android devices — and, subsequently, there is no additional programming required for the mobile device at all.

According to Lansa, "Using the same development tools, techniques, and methods you currently employ for building business applications on the IBM i, commercial-grade native apps for mobile devices can now be developed by your existing IT staff. You don't have to spend extra time and money learning any new programming languages such as Objective C (Apple), Java (Android), or other coding techniques like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. We've cut the learning curve for new tricks to zero."

LongRange consists of a server-side management service (LongRange Server) and an app that runs natively on a mobile device (LongRange mobile app). Users download the app to their mobile device, connect to the server, and then use the business applications.

When a user of a mobile device invokes the LongRange mobile app, the action sends a request to the LongRange Server, which invokes the associated RPG or CL program to perform its processing and issue a send screen command. The LongRange Server sends the screen to the LongRange app that presents the screen on the mobile device.

The LongRange app processes input and output from IBM i programs with a "significantly enhanced" user interface on mobile devices, such as Apple iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android.

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