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The IBM i platform has managed to remain relevant for more than three decades. As proof of this, the majority of IBM i users intend to continue relying on it both now and in the future. Despite the vast benefits of the IBM i architecture, however, its apps have never been more in need of modernization. 

Thankfully, successfully completing an IBM application modernization project in 2022 is much easier than it used to be. This is due to the abundant tools and solutions that simplify the process. Even with the latest low-code development technologies and other modern tools, however, the modernization of outdated IBM i apps is still a complex undertaking.

Why is mobile security the key to IBM i app modernization?

One of the core strengths of the IBM i platform and its applications is high security. Understandably, high security isn’t a characteristic organizations are willing to sacrifice in the name of modernization. As a result, this adds another layer of complexity to the digital transformation process. 

Enterprise applications today need to support all major platforms. They also need to communicate with multiple layers of IT infrastructure and services. This exposes them to security vulnerabilities of all kinds. 

Because applications are most commonly used on mobile devices, the security of smartphones and tablets plays an important role in any IBM i modernization initiative. Organizations need to take care to avoid vulnerabilities in the connection between mobile clients and the IBM i back end.

Similarly, developing a modernized app that provides a proper level of security requires specialists. Unfortunately, these specialists are rarely current members of most IT teams. As a result, finding and hiring them is both time-consuming and expensive. Even with the right people in place, IBM i modernization often ends up being more challenging than expected. 

Get highly relevant insights on how your organization can improve on IBM app security.

How to build secure IBM i apps with minimum time and effort? 

Despite all this, modernization is still a better approach than building your IBM i application security layer from scratch. In order to achieve this, you can adopt tools that provide pre-built security solutions for IBM i apps. Not only does this save your development team a lot of time and energy, but it also minimizes the risk of security breaches and process disruptions inherent in unsecured apps.

Visual LANSA

Visual LANSA is a comprehensive low-code rapid application development platform that allows companies to build enterprise-grade mobile, web, and desktop apps. LANSA has more than 30 years of experience working with IBM i. It has worked with the platform since its initial release in the late 1980s. This extensive knowledge of IBM i ecosystems shows in all LANSA products. As a result of its broad IBM i understanding, Visual LANSA provides exclusive solutions for IBM i developers. This includes tools that make creating new IBM i apps easy. 

LANSA makes it easier than ever to put real-time information into the hands of your mobile users. Using a single platform and skillset, LANSA lets your team quickly create both mobile-first and web apps, even without mobile app development experience. When it comes to building mobile apps, LANSA puts you in control.

With LANSA’s built-in responsive design, you can deploy your apps to any mobile device – regardless of size – for an optimized user experience. you can also leverage the full capabilities of mobile devices, by building hybrid or native apps for iOS, Android, or Windows devices — all without additional hiring or expensive training. Simply put, if you come up with ideas, then LANSA handles the code.


An important tool in the LANSA suite is Portalize. Portalize is a fully functional, and customizable portal framework. It is also loaded with essential features. By providing pre-maid portal components, Portalize simplifies the creation of app portals and saves your developers from the need to code complex portal features. 

LANSA made security a top priority when developing Portalize. We placed our expertise in data security into Portalize to ensure that your application is up to date with modern security standards right out of the box.

The framework incorporates a wide range of pre-built administrative features that can be integrated into any app. Admins can easily manage user accounts. They also have full control over every user’s security and notification settings. They can control session logging as well as turn Google Analytics on or off at will. Whether you have a few, a few hundred, or a few thousand users, Portalize’s admin features will make keeping control of your portal users a snap. 

Portalize also allows you to enable request validation checks for enhanced security. This is in addition to IP monitoring and banning features to reduce malicious attempts and thwart attacks. You can also limit login attempts and control the number of security questions as well as the actual questions asked.

Learn more about how your organization can overcome the most common challenges faced when securing an IBM application portal.


Web-enabling modernized IBM i applications is something you can’t avoid if you want them to be easily accessible across multiple platforms.  LANSA also has aXes, a special tool that easily transforms 5250 green screens into web-accessible mobile applications.

aXes is a tailor-made solution that automates the creation of web-enabled IBM i 5250 applications. It transforms existing 5250 screens into web pages out-of-the-box, without changing source code. 

aXes includes an API that allows developers to create programs that automatically operate applications written with RPG or COBOL. In addition, external applications can use aXes to simulate the actions of a person entering data on screens in a 5250 application. This feature makes it possible to integrate existing 5250 apps with .NET, Java, or other 5250s without changing their source code. aXes provides a wide range of automation options with versions of the API for .NET for Windows, Java for IBM i and Windows, and RPG for IBM i.

Learn more about how your business can fulfill an agile target architecture in this article about IBM Insurance Application Architecture.

Ready to start building a new generation of IBM i apps with full security? 

LANSA’s low-code platform combines all the right trends in modern-day software development and digital transformation. As a result, it helps organizations to truly utilize the power of automation and digital transformation technologies. LANSA is the solution for organizations that need to implement application modernization and data integration quickly, reliably, and with limited developer resources. 

Want to learn more about building powerful progressive web applications with a universal user experience across mobile and desktop platforms? Then you should download this exclusive whitepaper by LANSA. It contains detailed information about PWAs, including why organizations should use them, and how to implement newly-built PWAs with maximum efficiency.  

Ready to adopt Visual LANSA for your business needs? Get in touch with us to start using Visual LANSA for your app development and modernization needs.



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