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Webclient i+ Mobile for CA Plex


Webclient i+ Mobile for CA Plex

Webclient i+ Mobile for CA Plex

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  • Thank you for attending. I would like to talk today about a new capability we are offering the Plex developer – the ability to generate mobile applications from CA Plex. By mobile, I mean applications that will run with native UI’s and touch screen support on smartphones with advanced webkit browsers – iPhone, iPad, Android and even blackberry 6.0. CMFirst Company Overview
  • In an nutshell this is what we are talking about. CA Plex has a highly productive mechanism for constructing business applications. I’m sure that the audience is well aware of this. So in CA Plex, you use inheritance patterns, action diagrams, and an integrated GUI panel designer to design your applications. In CA plex, you can generate to client server targets. With our product, Webclient i+, we offer the ability to generate these panel designs as true rich web application with Ajax. With our upcoming mobile templates, we are extending this capability to smartphones. I’m not talking about applications that run simply in the mobile browser as standard browser apps – but on a tiny scale, but as applications that use the native smart phone UI, touch gestures, location services, and many other capabilities that are particular to the smartphone app metaphor. I understand there may be a degree of skepticism that CA Plex can be used to accomplish this, and I hope to address this in the rest of the presentation. You will judge for yourself. CMFirst Company Overview
  • If you have seen one of our webclient presentations before, you will notice there is a new corporate entity behind WebClient i+. So let me talk a little bit about CM First. CM First was founded in 1998 as an application lifecycle management company, and you may be familiar with Matchpoint change management for CA Plex, and products like model manager and the MKS connector. Now CM First provides full lifecycle solutions development to the CA and IBM I community. There are many referenceable customers around the world. CMFirst Company Overview
  • Here are some additional details. The company is headquartered in Switzerland, and has additional divisions in Italy and the USA. I am with the new USA division, located in Austin, Texas. Although I will be talking just about WebClient today, we do provide solutions in several areas. The common theme is strong support for the CA and IBM i customer. CMFirst Company Overview
  • Lets now talk about one of the flagship products, which is WebClient i+. I will give a brief overview and talk about the next release, which will include mobile templates. CMFirst Company Overview
  • Here is the promise of WebClient in a nutshell –the ability to generate a web page from an existing panel without rewriting. In this example, we have a Plex function that has been generated in 5250. With CA Plex, it is easy to generate a client server version running on Windows or Java without code changes. In fact, you are probably already familiar with this capability. WebClient add the ability to generate a web page as just another variant on your model. In this example, all three variants of the Edit Warehouse function share the same action diagram and the same panel editor design. The WebClient version show what is possible with the application of a cascading style sheet to make the screen design even more presentable. So the result is that you can be generating web pages from your CA Plex applications in a matter of minutes. Pretty powerful stuff. CMFirst Company Overview
  • We have some exiting features scheduled for the next release, tentatively scheduled for June 2011. Many plex developers have used the MDI or Multiple Document Interface style of application development. We will support this style in order to make it easier to move this type of application to a browser. We are also planning additional rich components. File open has been commonly requested, to select and upload a file from the client pc. Process and slider are self explanatory. So with this release we will be covering the vast majority of the ACTIVE pattern library, one of the early goals of WebClient. The star of the show is mobile templates of course, more detail on this later. Cloud computing is another area we will have an offering for. More detail on this later as well. Last, Portlets are being considered for inclusion in the product. We have a custom build that is in use at one customer, and if there is demand we will offer this as an option. CMFirst Company Overview
  • Lets now drill down to the purpose of the presentation, or the development of mobile apps using CA Plex. CMFirst Company Overview
  • Every year Gartner comes out with a check list to help CIOs and CEO’s prepare for the coming year. In this years checklist of the top 10 technologies for 2011, there is a very interesting number 1 and number 2. Cloud computing of course is a huge buzzword these days, but beyond the buzzword is some true business value. Many companies are getting signification ROI from outsourcing IT to an on-demand scalable cloud environment, like Amazon Elastic Cloud or IBM’s cloud platform. Number 2 has very quickly come to the forefront. It is hard to remember that the iPad is less than a year old, and that Android phones are still in their infancy. Their explosive popularity is outstripping the predictions made just a few years ago. CMFirst Company Overview
  • These statistics are truly eye popping. iPhones are selling like hotcakes. There are 200,000 android devices sold each day, particularly over in Asia – there are actually more phones in China than there are people in the USA. iPad tablets are less that an year old, yet there have been millions sold. I think the most important stat to the audience today is the last one – iPhones and iPads and Android devices are no longer just a consumer phenomenom – they are making serious inroads into enterprise. You have probably seen the ads on medical use of iPads is taking off. But you are also seeing mobile in a wide variety of business applications, from auto dealerships to education to insurance to government. CMFirst Company Overview
  • Traditionally developers are following this simple two step process. For the apple side, you start out by buying a Mac because this is required for iPhone app development. Then all you need to do is install the apple SDK and learn a new programming language. Wrapper your business logic so that the app can see. Take a course on how to develop the right style of UI. And then hope that your corporate security audit department will approve the whole thing – if they can even understand it. For Android – just follow the same steps, but replace Objective C with Java. Fortunately you don’t have to buy a new PC though, your standard PC will do. This slide is a bit tongue in cheek of course. There is a lot of technology to get your hands around with traditional mobile development. CMFirst Company Overview
  • And what is the result when you have finished? You have invested a great deal of time with several different tech teams, yet the end result is unsatisfying. It will be harder to maintain because of the multiple code bases, and you will need architect level resources to comprehend it. CMFirst Company Overview
  • What we are offering is what we feel is a much better way – using CA Plex in conjunction with WebClient and a mobile GUI library called Sencha Touch. Using the approach, which is JavaScript based, you will end up with a first-class mobile UI that operates as true mobile application. It will operate in an webkit-based mobile browser environment – which directly covers iPhone, iPad, and Android, or 94% of the mobile browsing traffic. It also covers some of the other platforms like BlackBerry and Nokia, that are introducing webkit based browsers onto their platforms. For example, BlackBerry 6.0 has been tested successfully with this technology. The framework makes use of the latest browser technology – for example HTML 5 and CSS 3. These technologies are expected by many to supplant older technologies like Flash and Silverlight, and in fact HTML 5 is on an upward trajectory in use at many high volume production sites. With this framework, you can do more that serve up applications – you can make use of local storage, audio/video capability, geographic services, and of course the touch framework so popular on the new devices. CMFirst Company Overview
  • So now you have some background on what the solution technology is. Lets take a look specifically at our solution, what we are calling WebMobile i+. CMFirst Company Overview
  • When WebClient was first developed, one of the design principles was that the core WebClient generation engine would know nothing about HTML, JavaScript, XML, or any specific web language. The purpose of this was to allow the development of new template libraries that would take advantage of new technologies as they emerged. You are now seeing the first example of this – WebMobile + is a set of plug in templates for smartphone that offer an alternative to standard web presentation. The templates are based on Sencha Touch, a product that is in turn based on ExtJS. ExtJS is a very popular JavaScript library, and Sencha Touch is probably the most popular mobile framework. With this framework, you get built in mobile device styling and themes. And all this is delivered under the basic premise of WebClient development – that is quick web development with a limited learning curve, using the CA Plex skills that you already have and use in client server development. You can use Plex’s built in WYSIWIG panel designer, yet apply mobile specific styling using model directives. This really speeds development cycles, because you don’t have to guess at what the screen will look like and how it will work. CMFirst Company Overview
  • So here it is in a nutshell – the webclient generator takes the Plex model as input, applies a set of templates – in this case the new mobile templates – and generates web pages that use the mobile app metaphors. In concept and practice it is fairly simple – we hide the complexity in our product. CMFirst Company Overview
  • Given all that – what does it mean to translate a standard Plex screen into a mobile screen? There are certainly some guidelines that need to be followed to get a usable application. I want to take you through some of this process. Lets first look at a simple Input style screen like a login screen. By default, WebClient will present this form as follows. Buttons will be sorted to a button area at the top of the mobile screen. The windows caption is displayed at the start of the data portion. The fields that make up the form are displayed in a linear fashion in the form. So x,y placement of the fields in ignored. CMFirst Company Overview
  • Lets now take a look at a more complex screen – a grid screen. Multiple columns can be problematic – one style is to display the columns below the key column. Editable grids will not be supported, at least in our initial release. CMFirst Company Overview
  • Messages are supported in the usual way. CMFirst Company Overview
  • Multiple regions and tabs are handled differently on mobile. There are two main styles that we are planning to support. One is the carousel. We will support this by generating each region to a separate carousel page that you can flip between. Tabs will be support with a tab strip, commonly located at the bottom of the mobile screen. Note that unlike standard WebClient, we will not support child windows in our initial release. These are currently too complex for the mobile metaphore. CMFirst Company Overview
  • What about more advanced components, like media and mapping? These will be supported in the initial release. In addition, the basic touch events will be supported as Plex events so that you can develop applications that make extensive use of these gestures. CMFirst Company Overview
  • If you have done research into mobile development, you may have some questions about hardware. For example, is it possible for a JavaScript application to access the camera. It is in fact not possible for a web delivered app to access the hardware. However, it is possible to create native wrapper applications that would serve up the java script application. The JavaScript application provides the business logic, and the wrapper application provides the hardware access. We are planning to provide example wrapper applications that you can use to create apps that can access the hardware, and can be sold on the app store or google market. Or you can do this yourself. I don’t have anything to show you today, but I expect we will have details in the coming months. CMFirst Company Overview
  • Lastly – what about cloud deployment? I am not going to talk about this much today in the interest of time, but everything you will see in the demo is running in a cloud environment. In this case, we are using the Amazon cloud. The cloud lets you deploy your mobile applications is a load balanced secure environment, that can automatically scale as load increases. We will have much more information on our cloud offering at the upcoming Plex/2E conference. CMFirst Company Overview
  • OK – enough talk and powerpoints – lets jump in and see this in action. Lets look at an example mobile application and how it gets developed and then deployed to a cloud server for browser access. CMFirst Company Overview
  • Thank you for attending. I would like to talk today about a new capability we are offering the Plex developer – the ability to generate mobile applications from CA Plex. By mobile, I mean applications that will run with native UI’s and touch screen support on smartphones with advanced webkit browsers – iPhone, iPad, Android and even blackberry 6.0. CMFirst Company Overview
  • Lets see how we are doing with respect to our gartner score card. In the space of less than an hour, we were able to cover the top three! At that pace we can cover the top ten by the end of the month easily. I’m just joking of course, it will take longer to deploy a production mobile application. But hopefully I was able to demonstrate how we can dramatically shorten the cycle time using WebClient i+. If what you see is interesting, please contact me. We will be offering free training on mobile and cloud development at the upcoming CA 2E and Plex conference in early June. If you can’t wait that long, we will be issuing a call to beta customers in the coming weeks. And if you aren’t a customer of webclient, now might be the time to become one. We will be offering special pricing for this capablity to current customers, and we will be providing special consulting help to select beta projects. CMFirst Company Overview
  • Here is how to contact me. I would be happy to field any questions you have in the area of mobile web development. CMFirst Company Overview


  • 1. Mobile Apps for iPad/iPhone & Android with CA Plex + WebClient
  • 2. Introducing Mobile Templates
  • 3. CM First: Our Story
    • New corporate parent for WebClient i+
    • History
      • Founded in 1998 as an Application Lifecycle Management software company
      • Now - Full lifecycle solutions development and delivery, CA and IBM i/z
      • Enterprise customers
        • Banking industry: Deka Bank, Olympia System, …
        • Government: Switzerland Ministry of Justice, Social Security Adminstration, Texas A&M, State of Illinois …
        • Hapimag, Praktiker, North American Stainless, Columbus Stainless, …
  • 4. Company Profile
    • Swiss Headquarters
      • Focus on Quality and Reliability
    • International Presence
      • Zug, Milan, Austin , Worldwide reseller partners
    • CA Primary Partner
      • Euro Zone, North America
    • Quality Proven Products
      • WebClient i+ (and PHP, Websydian)
      • Matchpoint ALM, MKS Connector
      • Soreco Xpert Ivy for BPM
      • Databorough X-Analysis
      • Worksoft Certify
  • 5. WebClient Brief Overview and Futures
  • 6. WebClient Web generator from the model Same Action Diagram, Panel Design Same Plex function = AJAX in 5 minutes or less
  • 7.
    • MDI (Multiple Document Interface)
    • Additional components
        • FileOpen, Progress, Slider, …
    • Mobile Templates
      • iPhone and Android
    • Cloud Computing
      • Pre-defined on-demand instances
    • Portlets
    WebClient “Next Release” Roadmap MDI, Mobile, Cloud
  • 8. Mobile Apps
  • 9. CIO’s Checklist for 2011 Source Gartner October 2010 “ Companies should factor these top 10 technologies in their strategic planning process by asking key questions and making deliberate decisions about them during the next two years,” David Cearley, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner
  • 10. Statistics The world is going mobile
    • 50 million iPhones sold to date
    • 200,000 Android devices sold each day
    • 8.5 million iPads sold to date
    • 70 million tablets predicted by the end of 2012
    • 2/3 of the Fortune 100 have started deploying iPads for Enterprise use
  • 11.
    • Apple
      • Buy some macs
      • Install the Apple SDK
      • Learn Objective C
      • Wrapper your existing business logic
      • Learn how to create iPhone/iPad UI’s
      • Hope to pass security audit
    • Android
      • Download the Android SDK
      • Learn java really well
      • Wrapper your existing business logic
      • Learn how to create Android UI’s
      • Hope to pass security audit
    Creating enterprise mobile apps A “simple” 2 step process
  • 12.
    • Steep learning curve
    • Multiple code bases
    • Disconnected teams
    • = higher cost and lower productivity
    What is the result? Perhaps not exactly what you expected
  • 13. A better way – Plex+WebClient with Sencha Touch
    • Covers 93% of mobile traffic
    • HTML 5, CSS3, ExtJS
    • SaSS
    • Local Storage
    • Media/Geo
  • 14. WebMobile i+ Template Solution
  • 15. Mobile i+ Templates
    • New plug-in templates for smartphone
    • Based on Sencha Touch / ExtJS
    • Built in mobile device styling and themes
    • Limited learning curve
      • Develop/Debug in standard client-server metaphor
      • Apply mobile specific styling in Panel Designer
  • 16. Mobile template library Web Templates Eclipse Plug-in (Builder) Mobile Templates
  • 17. Anatomy of a mobile screen
  • 18. Grids Grid Styles
  • 19. Messages Messages
  • 20. Multiple Regions / Tabs Carousel / icon tabs
  • 21. Advanced features
  • 22. What about hardware?
    • Camera
    • Compass
    • Accelerometer
    • App Store
    Native Wrapper App
  • 23. Cloud Computing Instances Deploy pre-defined load balanced instances of CA Plex WebClient applications in Cloud environments Other environments planned: Windows Azure, IBM, …
  • 24. WebMobile i+ Demostration
  • 25. Mobile Apps for iPad/iPhone & Android with CA Plex + WebClient Demonstration
  • 26. Conclusion / Next Steps
    • Free training in Chicago June 1, 2011
    • Specials for WebClient customers
      • Special pricing
      • Consulting help with beta projects
  • 27. Thank you CMFIRSTTECH.COM [email_address]