Over 150,000 organizations worldwide rely on IBM i to power critical business operations. Most of them have been investing in IBM i and enterprise solutions based on this platform for decades. For the majority of them, however, betting big on IBM i has paid off. Over the years IBM i has proven to be extremely reliable, easy to use, inexpensive to maintain, as well as flexible and secure.
For the most part, 5250 green-screen applications are the reason organizations across industries continue to trust in the IBM i platform. 5250 apps were the perfect solution when they needed powerful yet safe and reliable enterprise tools that they could use for years without changes.
Fast forward to the era of digital transformation, automation, and Industry 4.0 technologies. Progress has raised new demands for enterprise apps and revealed the age-related weaknesses of 5250. Unfortunately, enterprises can no longer ignore the platform’s shortcomings. The time to address them has come.
Three reasons your 5250 apps need to be modernized ASAP
Digital transformation is not a new thing, and the limitations of 5250 green-screen applications are generally well-known (and excusable considering the age of this technology). Some business leaders and IBM i decision-makers, however, remain unaware of how continuing to use their legacy tools affects their overall business metrics. They simply can’t see why they need to modernize ASAP.
Here are three main reasons:
Businesses in 2021 can’t survive without web-enabled apps
In today’s business world, web-enabled browser-based applications are a must-have. They allow businesses to be more connected and adaptable to changing market demands. 5250 green screen apps, however, simply don’t support a seamless transition to a web environment. In addition, IBM i doesn’t provide tools for frequent changes to 5250 green screens apps. Those changes, however, are necessary to keep up with constantly evolving customer demands.
5250 green screens look outdated and are difficult to use
Many companies can’t share their 5250 apps with business partners or customers because they look awful. Even worse, they require users to install 5250 emulators to use them. This is in addition to their outdated functionality, inconvenient UI, and other negative elements common to legacy apps.
5250 apps rely on inefficient workflows
Outdated 5250 applications usually rely upon outdated workflows. They also frequently involve elements that can be eliminated to increase efficiency. Using poorly designed or outdated workflows inevitably leads to productivity losses, often due to user errors.
What benefits can you get from modernizing your 5250 apps?
It is safe to say that modernizing 5250 green screen apps is absolutely necessary to empower the digital transformation of your business. Creating modern-day web-enabled applications to replace your legacy solutions can benefit an organization in a handful of ways.
A properly designed web application performs much better than any green screen app. In addition, modernizing increases end-user productivity by minimizing keystrokes and errors.
New web-enabled apps eliminate a lot of unnecessary processes from the old 5250s. They do this by including new functions and providing personnel with direct cross-platforms access to these apps.
Remote access to apps
Simply put, remote user access to enterprise apps from mobile devices adds business value to green screen app modernization.
New business processes
Modernized apps encourage innovative business processes, such as providing partners and customers with new capabilities that simplify orders and sales. This, in turn, leads to better efficiency and higher revenues.
Simplified, inexpensive maintenance
Updating enterprise apps to current development trends like modular structures and API-based approaches makes maintaining the IT infrastructure both cheaper and easier.
Simplified integration with the latest tech innovations
Finally, by supporting simple integration with third-party platforms and solutions, web apps enable companies to utilize the latest technologies and data sources in their products.
How to quickly turn a 5250 green screen into a web app
Modernizing your legacy IBM i apps may seem like a long and costly process, however, it doesn’t have to be. Organizations that adopt a smart and reasonable approach to legacy app modernization, as well as choose proper tools to facilitate the process, can implement new web apps quickly with minimum resources.
When it comes to turning 5250 apps into web-enabled browser applications, it can be done in just a few clicks with these two simple tools by LANSA:
LANSA’s aXes is a unique solution that converts 5250 applications to web pages on the fly. No programming skills are required, and you certainly don’t need access to the source code. You simply install aXes on the IBM i, and your employees have secure access to their 5250 applications from any web-enabled device, including phones and tablets. What’s more, your end users generally don’t need to install anything on their devices. The work is all done on the IBM i. aXes is a simple but powerful solution for accelerating your IBM i digital transformation.
RAMP (Rapid Application Modernization Process)
Rapid Application Modernization Process (RAMP) is an incremental modernization approach that implements the best of refacing existing applications and new development. By consolidating existing functionality with new capabilities inside RAMP’s application framework, you get to have the applications you want without having to throw everything away
Here are a few reasons why you should utilize aXes and RAMP for automatic transformation of your 5250 apps:
- Instant results. Transformation of a green screen to a modern web UI in a few clicks.
- Automatic deployment. You don’t need to worry about deploying your new web-enabled apps with the aXesLive tool.
- Unaltered structure. The underlying data and business logic of the apps doesn’t change after the transformation.
- Secure access. You can access your 5250 on a web application from anywhere safely.
- Fixable 5250 quirks and issues. Turning green screens into a web application makes it easy to fix the issues with 5250 legacy apps, improving the user experience.
- New capabilities. Enrich your web apps with calendar popups, checkboxes, and more detailed tooltips to protect the integrity of your data.
Ready to kick-start the 5250 modernization process?
aXes and RAMP are just two of LANSA’s solutions that make the digital transformation of your IBM i legacy apps as accessible as possible. LANSA has been providing enterprise technical teams with tools to simplify the modernization and engineering efforts of IBM i solutions for over 30 years. LANSA includes several proven tools specifically for IBM i users. It is the best low-code platform for developing new apps, modernizing existing ones, or even creating an entire ERP.
Want to know more about utilizing LANSA for quick and affordable IBM i modernization?
Then you should probably check this video where Eugene King, LANSA’s Senior Engineer, gives an in-depth session on how to effectively save your company resources and modernize at your own pace with aXes, RAMP, and other LANSA tools.