In this post, we are thrilled to share LANSA’s product roadmap for 2023-2024. Your feedback has been instrumental in shaping our journey, and we’re eager to hear more of your thoughts. With your invaluable input, we’re poised to chart a course that aligns perfectly with your evolving needs. Together, we will shape the future of LANSA products to ensure an exceptional user experience.
As we look forward to the exciting possibilities ahead, let’s take a moment to celebrate the progress we’ve made over the past year. Read on to explore the enhancements and innovations that will power your success in the years to come.
In the last 12 months, we have focused on delivering value for our LANSA customers, through both feature-rich releases and quality improvements across Visual LANSA, aXes and LongRange. We’ve also started on our journey of enhancing the onboarding experience through numerous modernization updates to the Visual LANSA look and feel and improved documentation. Here is a recap of our recent releases:
Visual LANSA EPC150050 Release
In September 2022, we released the latest version of Visual LANSA 15 – EPC150050. This EPC release built on the feature set of Visual LANSA v15+, which introduced Progressive Web Application support, providing developers with a quick and easy way to create progressive web apps (PWAs) utilizing the power of low-code.
LANSA EPCs are Expedited Program Changes that contain fixes and enhancements to LANSA products. It is recommended to be at the latest EPC level to ensure that all the most recent fixes, features, and enhancements are available.
This quality release included 117 improvements, optimizations, and bug fixes. It had all the latest fixes and changes shipped via hotfixes and patches since the last EPC.
EPC150050 benefited application developers with improved stability in the IDE in the areas of ActiveX, editor usage, and support for Excel integration, and expanded UTF-8 support in the IDE.
This release offered improvements for Base64 data support in web services (API blob support for v15). Developers could use a new BytesAsObject format to send and receive fields of type BLOB as a JSON object with properties for file name, mime type, and Base64 encoding of BLOB file contents. This release also included support for BitShiftLeft and BitShiftRight intrinsics.
User Interface Updates
The Visual LANSA interface was modernized with home screen and welcome screen user interface updates, providing an enhanced getting started experience to LANSA customers. Customers could also experience a sneak peek at the upcoming look and feel of the upcoming Visual LANSA UI redesign.
Shown: Updated Welcome Screen
Shown: Updated Home Screen
aXes 4.2.1 Release
In October 2022, we released the latest version of aXes 4.2.1. This release included 30+ quality enhancements.
With the new aXes management console in 4.2.1, aXes administrators no longer need to perform the tedious and error-prone task of programmatically modifying a file to configure and manage the settings of their aXes instance and web server. Configurations and changes can be quickly made through an easy-to-use web interface by simply toggling settings on/off, selecting from available configurations, copying configurations, and more. The new aXes management console is supported on all major browsers.
LongRange 1.38 Release
In September 2022, we launched the latest version of the LongRange mobile application, v1.38, which was packed with new features and enhancements, ensuring a seamless user experience.
LongRange is a mobile app builder for creating and maintaining native apps for Apple iOS, Android and Windows PCs and Tablets using IBM i development tools and methods.
This enhancement-focused release was an effort to improve the user experience and usability of the LongRange application.
This release consisted of numerous new features that had been long requested by our customers and greatly enhanced their LongRange user experience and overall application capabilities. This included:
- Enhancements to the image element to allow for selection of multiple pictures
- aXes Mobile ASR-022 (Barcode reader) support
- Support for NFC tag reading on iOS and Windows devices
- Ability to show an “English keyboard” for the Barcode element
LANSA Open.NET 6 Support
We recently released Open.NET 6 support for Visual LANSA. With this release, users can take advantage of the improved performance and expanded language support offered by Open.NET 6, enabling them to build powerful applications with greater ease and efficiency.
Looking ahead into Calendar Year 2023 and Beyond
Now, onto the exciting part! We’re unveiling our product roadmap for Visual LANSA, reflecting our commitment to elevate your development experience.
Stay tuned for hot fixes and additional features like Offline for Web Support and Web Accessibility Support, designed to help you build better applications faster. We’re also working on improving user experience, SQL performance, API integrations, and much more!
Please don’t hesitate to share comments and suggestions by writing to LANSA’s product manager at so[email protected]. We look forward to hearing your thoughts!
In Development Now
We are focusing on addressing top customer requests in Visual LANSA and the aXes application and introducing new features. It focuses on extending the capabilities of the application and along with that, some priority patch requests related to the quality enhancements with DBCS and more.
The LANSA team is very excited about the upcoming EPC150060 release. This release will include the following features:
- All the latest fixes and changes shipped via hotfixes and patches since the last EPC.
- Required updates to LANSA for Windows 11 support in V15
- Offline for Web Support for v15: This will introduce the ability for application developers to store and persist data on the client side to facilitate offline-first experiences through the Visual LANSA development environment. Application developers will programmatically and visually run operations on a browser-based IndexedDB database and object stores.
- Web Accessibility Support for v15: This will introduce Visual LANSA Web Applications compliance to the Level AA requirements of the WCAG 2.x specification.
LANSA Connect with new OpenSSL Support Release
The LANSA Connect OpenSSL support release aims to enhance the security and reliability of system-to-system communications. With the latest SSL/TLS protocols, LANSA Connect OpenSSL ensures secure and encrypted data exchange between your LANSA applications and external systems for Visual LANSA V15+ and LANSA Open.NET.
Coming Up Next
These quality releases will focus on LANSA Composer and Integrator, focusing on quality improvements related to the Altova Mapforce update in LANSA Composer and more.
Visual LANSA UI Modernization
Our next major release will focus on improving the overall getting started experience through UI modernization. This release will bring a new look and feel to all the icons used in the Visual LANSA application without any changes to the user flow. We understand that first impressions matter and our goal with this release is to make the initial experience of using Visual LANSA as seamless and enjoyable as possible. This will not only improve the aesthetics of the application but also make it easier for users to navigate and understand.
SQL Performance Enhancements
As part of our ongoing efforts to improve the performance and efficiency of our application, the LANSA team is working on enhancing the performance of SELECT queries in SQL by implementing bind variables. This change is expected to result in a substantial performance increase of 15-25%. With bind variables, the SQL engine is able to cache query execution plans and reuse them for subsequent queries with different input parameters. This optimization significantly reduces the overhead of generating a new query execution plan for each query, resulting in faster query execution times.
In simpler terms, this means that SELECT queries will now be executed much faster, resulting in an overall improvement in the performance of SQL queries. The enhanced performance of SELECT queries will also lead to increased productivity for users. With faster query execution times, users can complete tasks more quickly and efficiently, allowing them to focus on more strategic initiatives that drive their business forward. Additionally, the reduction in query execution times means that users can access the data they need more quickly, increasing their productivity and enabling them to make informed decisions faster.
IBM i Apache HTTP Web Server for Publishing APIs
The IBM i Apache release is set to bring about significant changes to the way web services are published through the LANSA platform. Specifically, the release will introduce the ability to publish REST APIs natively on IBM i using the IBM i Apache web server plugin. This will be achieved through the use of the IBM HTTP Server powered by the Apache module, which will replicate the functionality of the Windows IIS plugin on both IBM i and Linux-based servers.
This is a significant development for LANSA users who have been looking for a more streamlined way to publish web services, without having to rely on external plugins or services. With the IBM HTTP Server powered by the Apache module, users will be able to publish web services through the familiar LANSA interface, using the same development tools and techniques they are already accustomed to.
By providing this functionality on both IBM i and Linux-based servers, LANSA is ensuring that its users can take full advantage of its capabilities, no matter what their hosting environment may be. This is just one of the many ways in which LANSA is helping to make application development faster, easier, and more efficient for its users.
LANSA Open.NET 7 Support
This release will help enable application developers to continue to utilize the Visual LANSA repository on IBM i or Windows systems but also have access to new .NET technologies such as ASP.NET, Blazor, and cross-platform development.
Coming Up Later
Addressing top customer requests in aXes application. It focuses on the aXes enhancements related to V7R5 support and priority patch requests and jar file updates for quality improvements and compliance.
- API Builder with a focus on simplifying API integration and expanded support for third-party APIs
- Enabling applications to interface directly with device file systems and storage
- Expanded support for Progressive Web functionality by implementing access to device media such as camera, and audio
- Routing improvements
- Certification and support for terminal emulation software
- Push Notifications
- Research enhancements for aXes related to screen extensions like Scrollable Subfile Table, Subfile Context Menu, Subfile Enhancer, etc
- Research aXes responsive design capabilities enhancements
We are having discussions internally on what to add next to VLF-One. If you have requests for VLF-One that you would like the product team to consider, please reach out to us.
Containerization and Microservice Architectures Release
This will provide organizations with the ability to modernize their legacy applications and move them to the cloud. This release also enables containerization and microservice architectures, allowing for greater flexibility and scalability in application development and deployment.
Note: These plans and roadmap represent our intentions as of this date, but our development plans and priorities are subject to change. Accordingly, we can’t offer any commitments or other forms of assurance that we’ll ultimately release any or all of the described products on the schedule or in the order illustrated or at all. These general indications of development schedules or “product roadmaps” should not be interpreted or construed as any form of a commitment, and our customers’ rights to upgrades, updates, enhancements, and other maintenance releases will be outlined in the applicable software license agreement.