ASNA WingsRPG : Benefits and Features

ASNA Wings transforms green screens into modern Web pages quickly

Wings is not a screen scraper

Wings features:

Point and click display file import

ASNA WingsRPG imports IBM i display files with a simple point-and-click dialog. WingsRPG reads the DDS and then generates a browser-based equivalent.

Infinitely customizable

The ASNA WingsRPG user interface can be customized a number of ways. The WingsRPG presentation layer is an ASP.NET Web site and can therefore be extended with virtually any ASP.NET custom control. WingsRPG also includes several controls with which you can provide user interface elements such as pie and bar charts, images, and maps. You can enhance your WingsRPG displays with features such as business partner Web services, Ajax, and MS Office integration. The look and feel of your WingsRPG displays can be easily tailored to use your corporate colors and logos.

WingsRPG is not a screen scraper

WingsRPG doesn’t use the IBM i’s traditional 5250 data stream. Rather it passes an in-memory (and therefore secure) data buffer from the RPG program to Web browser. This secure data buffer frees customizers from positional data stream constraints a traditional screen scraper imposes. The Wings data buffer includes all of the field values, all of the indicator values, and any hidden or system field values.

Your existing RPG logic remains unchanged

WingsRPG’ underlying enabler is IBM’s Rational Open Access for RPG Edition. This API empowers WingsRPG to intercept RPG workstation data. Thanks to the Open Access API, WingsRPG’s displays are performant and secure and require no changes to your RPG programming logic. Read more about Ration Open Access

RPG doesn’t know about Wings

Not only is your RPG logic unchanged, it remains obvious to the fact that its traditional green-screen has been dispatched. Your RPG continues to think it is communicating with a traditional display file. You work with Wings user jobs just as you would any other green-screen job (with facilities such as WRKACTJOB).

High fidelity with DDS-based rules

WingsRPG creates browser-based displays derived from DDS display file specifications. The indicator-driven DDS rules that govern how your program behaves are faithfully implemented by WingsRPG. For example, if your RPG program positions the cursor to a field conditionally based on an indicator value, WingsRPG continues to obey that rule.

WingsRPG is packaged with ASNA BTerm

WingsRPG uses BTerm, the ASNA browser terminal emulator, to render display files that you haven’t yet been modernized with WingsRPG. This gives you the flexibility to cherry-pick the displays you want to modernize first, while the others are rendered in BTerm. BTerm is also important because you may also have end-user workflows that use displays that can’t be modernized by WingsRPG. For example, you may have some users who frequently need to use the IBM i WRKSPLF command. With WingsRPG, those kinds of screens are displayed naturally in BTerm. Read more about BTerm.

WingsRPG technical notes
  • WingsRPG provides a Wings Screen Design Aid with which you import RPG display files. Upon import, Wings transforms the display file (through its DDS display source member) into an ASP.NET browser page.
  • The Wings Screen Design Aid requires a commercial version of Microsoft Visual Studio. However, don’t be put off by this—you do not write any code to use ASNA Wings.
  • WingsRPG stores all imported display files in an ASP.NET Website. This Website is installed on a Windows Windows IIS Web Server. The Windows Web server is connected with TCP/IP to your host IBM i.