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How To Bring An IBM i Green Screen App To Mobile

by | Nov 1, 2022 | IBM i Modernization

Your IBM i 5250 green-screen application is rock solid. However, it’s also monolithic. Hence, it can’t seamlessly translate to a web environment on its own. Also, IBM i green screen application has limited functionality. Therefore, keeping up with the changing user demands will be challenging. You might want to bring the specific app to mobile. But how can you do it? Should you use IBM i modernization tools? In this post on the green screen app, you will find all the details. Let’s dive in.

What Is An IBM i Green Screen App

What Is An IBM i Green Screen App?

In IBM i, green screen apps refer to applications that run on 3270 terminal emulators. They do not support Unicode data. Similar to the PC/5250 emulator, they provide extended 5250 terminal functions.

Can We Access IBM i Apps From Mobile?

Yes, you can. A mobile solution for accessing IBM i is available, and IBM powers it i Access for Web (5770XH2). It lets you access IBM i resources from any mobile device that supports a browser.

Why Switch To A Graphical User Interface From A Green Screen?

Why Switch To A Graphical User Interface From A Green Screen?

The Power of Productivity

Going to a GUI is easier than you think. Also, going off the green screen doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice functionality. Instead, it enhances both functionality and productivity.

For instance, animated graphics and adjustable graphic sizes are easy in the GUI. However, they are not easy on a text-based green screen. Also, you can run certain IBM commands, like WRKACTJOB and WRKSPLF, from the GUI. Hence, it gives you the power of flexibility and productivity.

Ease of Use

If you are a keyboard and command line type of person, you might not feel good with clicking through menu trees at the initial stage. However, once you get used to it, you’ll find that GUI provides significantly more maneuverability. Also, it offers easier navigation. Hence, it will be a lot easier to use for everyone.

Easy to Upgrade

GUI is part of a browser-based solution. Hence, you will get several big advantages. For example, you no longer have to update the end user interface on the client’s PC. It helps you to completely eliminate the footprint on the desktop. It results in faster deployment. Also, you will face significantly less hassle in terms of maintenance.

How Can You Provide The Best User Experience?

How Can You Provide The Best User Experience?

You can provide the best user experience by providing easy access to your products. One way of achieving it is to utilize a responsive mobile design. It will enable your apps to run on all sorts of modern devices.

Responsive mobile design is very important. According to the Google Mobile Playbook, 57 percent of users say that they will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile app. Also, 40 percent of users have moved to a competitor app due to the poor mobile experience.

That’s why it’s vital to effectively incorporate a responsive design strategy. It will provide the user with the best experience across all devices.

Which Techniques Are Used To Transform A Green Screen App To GUI?

Which Techniques Are Used To Transform A Green Screen App To GUI?

Screen scraping is used to transform a green screen app into GUI. It converts your IBM i 5250 green screens into modern user interfaces. It lets you link your legacy application to a modern display.

How To Build Modern Web And Mobile Interfaces With Low Code Solutions?

You can build modern web and mobile interfaces with Visual LANSA. It is a low-code, high-productivity software development platform. Visual LANSA offers easy system integration and unique digital transformation technologies. As a result, it can significantly reduce hand-coding. Also, it supports multiple languages. On top of that, Visual LANSA offers a highly productive solution. It enables development teams to build applications up to 10 times faster. Overall, it’s one of the best low-code software development platforms on the planet.

What Techniques Are Helpful Only To Change The User Interface Of IBM i Apps While Retaining The Data And Business Layers?

There are different techniques for changing the user interface while retaining the business and data layers. Let’s find them out.

Is Screen Scraping A Valid Solution?

Screen scraping is a  modernization technique. It enables you to enhance the presentation of your legacy applications.  It involves converting IBM i 5250 green screens into modern user interfaces.

With a screen scraping tool, you can link your legacy application to a modern display. It will enable you to capture the original screen content from your legacy application. Hence, you can conveniently display it in a browser.

Screen scraping makes your application more visually appealing. However, the existing functionality remains the same.

Read: What is AS400?

Is adding a New User Interface an option?

You can update your legacy application by adding a new user interface. It helps you to effectively modernize the screen content.

What about exposing Business Functions as Callable Services like a REST API?

Callable services are organizational activities, like calculating discounts and obtaining customer orders. They are discrete sets of logic units. Other applications can access them by using a web service or a remote procedure call.

You can convert legacy applications into callable services, like a REST API. It will make them easily accessible to other apps.

What Techniques Are Useful To Change The User Interface With Other Layers Or Parts Of IBM i Green Screen Apps?

What Techniques Are Useful To Change The User Interface With Other Layers Or Parts Of IBM i Green Screen Apps?

The following techniques help change the user interface with other layers or some parts of them:

Is migrating the application a good idea?

With the migration technique, you can move the discrete functional blocks from the legacy application to modern applications. You can use it to modernize operational business processes, rather than the entire legacy application. However, make sure to update the critical business operations before moving to the other parts. It’s the most appropriate way.

The migration technique can be very useful. For example, you have a legacy ERP application. It consists of several modules, like the finance module, management, billing, etc. With the migration technique, you can use another application to manage finances. Hence, you no longer have to use multiple modules in your application.

Is rewriting the application a valid option?

Rewriting an application means building everything from scratch. It will require you to utilize modern tools and technologies in your legacy IBM i application.

You can consider following the programming language conversion approach. It will help you to retain the functionality while modernizing legacy applications with advanced technologies.

For example, you can utilize modernization tools to read the legacy application’s source code. Then you can convert it using a different programming language, like Java or C#.

Read: What is IBM i?

Would replacing the application be cost-effective?

Replacing the legacy IBM i applications refers to retiring legacy applications and purchasing new applications.

The data is a major component of the legacy application. You are required to transfer it to a new application. However, there is a big risk. For example, the transformation can disrupt business operations.To get rid of this issue, you might be thinking about replacing the application. However, it will not be cost-effective. Because new systems generally cost more. Also, they take longer to implement.

How Does LANSA Support This Transformation – Maximize ROI And Boost Productivity?

LANSA offers a powerful IBM i green screen modernization tool. It is known as aXes. You can use it to transform 5250 IBM green screens into web-enabled applications. Also, you don’t have to modify the source code. Hence, it can make your life a lot easier.

Let’s take  a look at the demo of the LANSA aXes:

YouTube Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wga21Ix-RFY&feature=emb_title

Are You Ready To Convert Your Green Screen Apps To Mobile?

Are you ready to turn your green screens into modern mobile apps? Are you willing to quickly jump into the world of modernization? Start your application modernization journey with aXes. It is very easy to use. It can help you effortlessly transform green screen apps into modern GUIs.

Visit LANSA today to bring your IBM i Green Screen App To Mobile!


What is IBM green screen?

When dealing with an AS/400, your interface is the 5250 terminal emulator, also known as the green screen.

How does the green screen app work?

IBM green screen app works by providing extended 5250 terminal functions similar to the PC/5250 emulator. It supports customizable multi-session support (up to 99).

Is using a green screen easy?

Yes, it is very easy to use a green screen. Try using LANSA, aXes, and RAMP to see how easy it is.