Informing the IBM Community

User group gets lowdown on LX roadmap


LX roadmap

Attendees at the inaugural meeting of a new LX/BPCS user group got the lowdown earlier this month on the application’s future.

The meeting was held at the UK’s National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on July 9. LX fans heard from Nigel Barker, an Infor senior business consultant, about the ERP giant’s strategic plans and roadmap for the software.

Barker explained the history of LX from its years as BPCS, an original mainstay of IBM’s midrange server market, through LX 8.3.0 and on to the current 8.3.4 10x version, which Infor released back in February.

Barker gave an overview of enhancements that the new version of LX provides, including a look at the Infor Development Framework and Infor’s Enterprise General Ledger. Barker also explained the possibilities for fast and simple integration of Infor with non-Infor apps through its ION architecture.

Delegates learnt that an additional driver within the 10x version is the creation of work experiences that people love, an initiative being carried out by Infor’s internal design and creative agency, Hook and Loop.

As part of this process, Infor has provided user-interface improvements such as one-click application navigation, single sign-on across Infor applications, context tools and analytics, plus the delivery of workflow and event notifications through Infor’s social enterprise tool, Ming.le.

In the second half of the event, Dave Pickburn, director at Leeds and Nottingham-based Proximity (which convened the new group and hosted the event) provided insight into some tools for developing web-based applications on the i.

Pickburn said IBM i is a much more open platform than it was even two years ago and is now an excellent platform for the development of mobile and responsive applications.

He provided delegates with a number of examples, including Stream, a cloud-based collaborative order and transport management system that has been developed in PHP on Proximity’s own Power i.

He also demonstrated the capabilities of BCD Software’s Presto tool for transforming green screens to web-based interfaces and showed delegates the new UK-version of the BCD Software website, which has been developed on the PHP-based Drupal content management platform running on IBM i.

Pickburn said IBM i developers should think functions as well as applications when developing browser-based software. The data in existing DB2 applications is available and existing logic can be reused including calls to RPG and CL programs, while existing screens can be reworked and redeveloped using tools such as BCD Software’s Presto.

David Maskrey, a director at Proximity, said The inaugural user group was a huge success with very good feedback from all attendees. The next user group meeting will be held early next year and we are looking forward to hosting another informative event.

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