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Informix User Forum 2005 Moving Forward With Informix. Advantages of EGL For I4GL Development. Jin Zhang Software Development Manager, IBM. Atlanta, Georgia December 8-9, 2005. Agenda. Business Problem, Solution

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advantages of egl for i4gl development

Informix User Forum 2005Moving Forward With Informix

Advantages of EGL For I4GL Development

Jin Zhang

Software Development Manager, IBM

Atlanta, Georgia December 8-9, 2005

  • Business Problem, Solution
  • Application Development With EGL
  • Console User Interface
  • EGL UI Development
  • EGL Report Handling
  • EGL Language And Data Model
  • EGL and SOA
  • Moving To The Web
  • Questions
the informix customer dilemma
The Informix Customer Dilemma
  • What to do with existing applications?
    • Continue to maintain = skills, tools, processes proliferation
    • Hard to reuse in new applications (Web Services)
  • Complexity: New application technology is inherently more complex
    • Many disjointed moving parts, more complex design
    • Need access to new platforms, data, connectivity
    • A more disciplined well managed approach to development is imperative
  • Skills: I4GL developers do not have the right skills to jump to the new application technology
    • Significant retraining, prohibitive costs
the rational solution
The Rational Solution
  • What to do with existing applications?
    • Convert into EGL and breath new life into valuable code
      • Ready-made Java and J2EE, SOA integration
      • Can maintain using world class IDE
      • Consolidate all development activities on same single integrated workbench
  • Complexity: New applications are inherently more complex
    • Rational tools simplify development of modern applications
    • Support TUI, GUI, Web, Portals, many platforms, many databases, Messaging and Queuing, SOA etc
    • Rational platform optimized to design, develop, test and manage complex systems promoting use of software development best practices
  • Skills: I4GL developers do not have the right skills
    • EGL is easy to learn and can be mastered in a few weeks
    • No development paradigm shift required
    • Powerful , productive, and modern
what is enterprise generation language egl
What is Enterprise Generation Language (EGL)?
  • Enterprise Generation Language (EGL)
    • Procedural Language for Business-Oriented Application Development
    • Familiar to procedural language developers (SQL, COBOL, RPG, 4GL)
  • Simplified programming (high abstraction polymorphic verbs)
    • Data access, transaction, session handling, middleware interaction
  • Business problem focus rather than on complex software technologies
    • Hide the details of middleware and Java/J2EE
  • Easily create applications using EGL tools bypassing the Java/J2EE/OO learning curve
    • EGL code generates to Java code or COBOL
    • Debugger for EGL source
  • Integrated with Rational Software Development Platform
    • RWD, RAD, RSA, JSF, Eclipse etc
why should one move to egl
Why should one move to EGL?
  • Continued support of Informix 4GL type of development
  • Support for Informix IDS, DB2 and other databases
  • Support for Windows platforms
  • A single development environment:
    • supporting EGL, Java, COBOL and Web application development
    • to maintain and enhance existing TUI applications
why should one move to egl1
Why should one move to EGL?
  • Many legacy I4GL constructs can also be deployed as host (z and i-series) applications
  • Enhanced reporting capabilities
  • Future enhancements (Model driven development, GUI)
  • Mature, field-tested I4GL business logic can be used within new web applications
  • Standard “curses” library will allow much better color support in character applications
application development with egl
Application development with EGL
  • EGL Program
    • Similar to an I4GL file that has the MAIN function
    • Identifies the entry point to run the application
  • EGL Library/Service
    • Similar to any other I4GL module/file that provides other functions for use
    • The functions can be accessed by other libraries/programs
    • The functions can be explicitly called using the library identifiers as a prefix
  • EGL page handler
    • Logic that contains web page handling
    • Can use functions in other libraries for business logic
application development with egl1
Application development with EGL
  • EGL Report Handler
    • File that contains reporting functions to be used as callbacks
  • EGL build descriptor
    • Sets up properties for generation
      • Database connections
      • User id/password
      • Project properties
    • Generates Java code based on the settings
  • EGL Resource Association
    • Attach a name to a resource
      • MQ/ File I/O etc
console user interface
Console User Interface
  • The Console UI is a set of EGL language elements and runtime libraries that provide a “curses”-style interface for EGL users to develop applications
  • The Console UI was [primarily] developed to provide a migration path from Informix I4GL to EGL
  • Provisions are made in the language to support
    • Line mode (command line) interactions
    • Display statements (in various flavors….)
    • Windows
    • Menus
    • Forms
  • Implemented to use Java Swing and Unix curses
console user interface cont
Console User Interface (cont…)
  • The Console UI operates (for the most part) on types and structures that have been created by EGL programmers
  • Console UI objects generate “events” which allows EGL programmers to control the runtime behavior based on user interaction
  • The Console UI runtime has been designed to
    • look the same as I4GL
    • behave the same as I4GL
  • Look-n-feel compatibility is crucial to the success of the I4GL to EGL migration effort
egl ui development
EGL UI Development


Java Swing

Console UI Library

Unix Curses

egl ui development1
EGL UI Development
  • Some details…
    • Form layout using predefined Record type (ConsoleForm)
    • Window, Form, menu and prompt are predefined types
    • A single statement can interact with the different components
      • Statement attributes determine what action needs to be performed (input/display/construct etc)
    • Event handling to handle form, field and key events
i4gl to egl syntax mapping
I4GL to EGL syntax mapping
  • Windows, Menus, Prompts, and Forms have become types in EGL
  • The EGL statement “openUI” controls the behavior of menus, prompts, and forms
  • The openUI statement can catch “events” that can be thrown by any object it can open
    • After/before field, after/before row, on key, menu Action, etc…
  • I4GL prompt, construct, menu, input, and input array become various incarnations of openUI
egl report handling
EGL Report Handling
  • Capable of generating complex reports
    • Uses Jasper
    • Works with a design document
    • Can be exported to different formats (PDF, HTML, XML)
    • EGL statements to interact with reports
users view of egl report runtime
Users view of EGL report runtime


Jasper Report Or Jasper Design template

EGL Report Library



Data passing

EGL Application

EGL Report Handler

Report handler can call methods and use resource of EGL application

data source in egl for jasper


EGL Dynamic Array of Records

Jasper Report

SQL statement

EGL Report Library


Data Source in EGL for Jasper
egl report artifacts


EGL Report artifacts

EGL report driving program, a.egl file

Jasper Report XML template, b.jrxml file

EGL report handler, c.egl file


EGL report driving program, file

EGL report driving program, b.jasper file

EGL report driving program, file

EGL report driving program, file

egl language example
EGL – Language Example




egl data access verbs






EGL Record








* - future

EGL Data Access Verbs
  • “Record” abstracts access to:
    • Relational data
    • MQ messages
    • Indexed, Relative, Serial data
    • DL/I (v6.0)
  • Common verbs for data access/unit of work management
    • Add, Get, Replace, Delete, Commit
  • I/O errors handled in a common fashion - across disparate data types
  • Data format conversions handled automatically
egl business logic development create page handler and service
EGL Business Logic Development : Create Page Handler and Service


Call “GoogleSearch”



  • Page Handler
    • Contain functions and data related to a .jsp
    • “On Page Load” function
    • Declare data structures that are available to “Page Designer”
    • Functions bound to command buttons
    • Should be mostly “Controller Logic”
  • Service
    • Multiple entry points
    • Put “Business Logic” in here for EGL Apps
    • Local or Remote Service Including Web Service Creation
    • Interfaces to Represent External Web Service Methods
    • Invoke server programs through a simple CALL statement From a Service
    • Contain “Black-Box” EGL functions
      • generally related in some way
      • Example: “Data Access Service”
        • SQL Record definition
        • All basic CRUD functions


what applications can be developed in egl
What Applications can be developed in EGL?
  • Internet (Web) applications – standalone, remote calls to legacy business logic …
  • Web Services – EGL Service, full Web Service, SOA
    • Create and Consume Web Services with Wizards
  • Database applications (CRUDs)
    • DB2, Oracle, VSAM, IMS, Informix, Cloudscape, sequential files…
  • Callable programs from traditional Java clients
  • Standalone batch and reporting applications
  • Standalone green-screen (TUI) applications
    • For i5oS, OS390, VSE, z/OS, Linux, AIX, Windows, Unix
where can egl applications be deployed


AIX, HP, Solaris









Where can EGL Applications be Deployed?



Code Repository


Used In:

Native (Java)


Other App Servers


  • Language
  • Editors
  • Wizards
  • Tools
  • Debugger
  • Java Generation/RT





COBOL Generation option


Native (Java)


Native (COBOL)

soa support in egl
SOA Support In EGL
  • Ability to create and consume web service artifacts
    • Simple and Intuitive Programming Model
    • Wizard Driven Development
    • Easy Testing of Generated WSDL Through Web Service Explorer
soa support in egl consuming external web services
SOA Support In EGLConsuming External Web Services
  • Ability to Consume External WSDL Files to Create EGL Artifacts
  • All Necessary Interfaces Generated From the WSDL File
  • Communication Protocols Automatically Created In Service Binding Library (From WSDL)
  • Complex Types Automatically Created From WSDL File Content
  • Both EGL and External Web Service Creation Possible
soa support in egl creating services with egl
SOA Support In EGLCreating Services With EGL
  • EGL web service has Access to All EGL Capabilities
  • WSDL file, and Necessary Classes Automatically Generated From Service
  • Menu Option on Right Click of Service Artifact Allows Creation of Service Binding Library (The Client)
  • EGL Generated Code Leverages Built In Web Service Support In Websphere Application Server
rapid development with jsf and egl
Rapid Development with JSF and EGL

Control Logic

Business Logic

User Interface

Enterprise Information Connection

Web Services

Business Process Integration

JSF RAD tools virtually eliminates

complex error prone manual coding

  • Point and click Web presentations
  • Control Logic and Navigation automation
  • Rich UI components
  • No-code input validation
rapid development with jsf and egl1
Rapid Development with JSF and EGL

User Interface

Control Logic

Business Logic

Enterprise Information Connection

Web Services

Business Process Integration

EGL simplifies business logic and shields from

complexities of data access (Databases, Files,

Message Queues) and legacy integration

  • High level simple I/O verbs insulate from coding data access APIs
  • Procedural easy to learn language
  • Simple CALL interface to existing programs insulates from connectivity APIs
web site structure and navigation
Web Site Structure and Navigation

Generated Navigation Bar

  • Web Site Development Tool for creating, managing, and building entire web sites
    • Useful for working with a collection of web pages which make up a website
  • Key Benefits:
    • Easily visualize (and manipulate) the structure of a web site
    • Maintain a consistent look and feel of a website

Web Site Structure

Detail Page Information

D&D to apply page template. List of available page templates with navigation controls

styles and themes
Styles and Themes

CSS Source view editing features, including syntax highlighting, unlimited undo and redo, content assist, element selection, and pop-up menu options.

The Preview pane shows you how the currently defined styles are likely to look when viewed in a Web browser.

Style sheet gallery allows to select, preview and apply one of many pre-built CSS.

Ability to view, edit and add new styles to the style sheet.

  • Design and Apply Style Sheet for Consistent Look and Feel
  • Automatic design time update to pages in page designer
  • Visual and Source view synchronization
  • Import existing style sheets.
  • Visual Design and Preview Capabilities
  • Support for W3C CSS Standards (CSS1, CSS2 and CSS Mobile Profile, WAP CSS 1.0)
page templates and fragments
Page Templates and Fragments

Page Template Designer. Design, Preview, Synchronize changes.

  • Used to easily define a consistent layout/design for a set of pages
    • Changing a template will automatically update all pages using the template
  • Two types of content:
    • Content Area: Only area which can be modified by pages based off the template
    • Page Fragments: Includes part of a page from another page (not modifiable)
  • Page Designer is used to create page templates (*.jptl)

Ready to use sample page templates (50) for rapid prototyping.

dynamic page design and preview
Dynamic Page Design and Preview

Simplified Navigator hides the complexity of J2EE

Construct pages by dragging and dropping rich web components from a customizable Palette

Construct pages by dragging and dropping rich web components from a customizable Palette

The Data View lets you configure and drag and drop data to automatically create a data bound UI

Page templates separate out common page elements in a single template file

The Quick Edit View allows scripting of client or server side events in Java or Java Script.

Code assist writes the code for you!

Property views allow easy customization of the selected component

  • Web Application Development is Drag and Drop Simple!
  • Instant binding of UI to Data
  • Quick Server/Client side event scripting (with Java Server Faces)
  • Rapid UI Creation
  • Integrated with EGL Records