ASNA WingsRPG™ Reference Manual


ASNA Wings is a product for IBM i RPG ILE programs that modernizes traditional 5250 green screen user interfaces. ASNA Wings uses IBM's Open Access for RPG to naturally extend RPG applications to Microsoft's ASP.NET platform.

ASNA Wings does not require a lot of analysis and business logic migration. Only the presentation layer is changed while all back-end logic and DB access remains intact. Wings creates "Wings Display Files," standard ASP.NET ASPX pages, for the user interfaces. You can use Microsoft's Visual Studio with VB.NET, C#, or ASNA Visual RPG to further extend and enhance the user experience. These new "screens" are quite attractive as modernized out of the box but you can perform optional modification to them to further enhance their capabilities or cosmetics.

ASNA Wings is a member of the ASNA Monarch® family of products, and uses the Monarch Framework to provide much of the structure and code-behind for it. You can use ASNA Wings to quickly and easily modernize the RPG users' experience. At a later stage, you have the additional option of fully migrating your applications off of the IBM i. With ASNA Wings you can later call on ASNA Monarch to do a full-featured RPG migration of your application to .NET. Several components of ASNA Wings are shared with other ASNA Monarch facilities.

Data Flow

The standard data flow between an RPG program and its display is shown below. Here we see that when an ILE RPG program reads or writes data from/to a display, file OS/400 APIs are used to route the 5250 display file data from/to the display file.

User view before Wings

ASNA Wings is enabled by an IBM product called Rational Open Access for RPG. Open Access provides the ability for third-party vendors to plug custom file IO "handlers" into the ILE RPG program execution pipeline. See IBM's Rational Open Access RPG Edition for more detail on Open Access. ASNA Wings provides an Open Access handler to redirect display file IO to ASNA Wings-created browser pages, as shown below.

User view after Wing

With the ASNA Wings Handler installed you create browser-based versions of your existing display files. After having created the new display files you add one line of code to the ILE RPG program to tell it to use the new display files. In a nutshell, that is it!

Internally, the ILE RPG program logic and data file IO aren't aware of this display file change. The program executes as it always did, but when display files are used, they're the new ones.

The workflow for performing basic modernization to an ILE RPG with Wings is quite simple:

  1. Use the Wings Design Aid to transform display files used by the RPG application.
  2. Add the Handler keyword (ASNAWINGS) to the RPG program's WORKSTN file declaration.
  3. Run the program to test it in Visual Studio.
  4. Deploy the finished Web site to your Web server.

The first two steps can also be performed entirely and automatically in Wings Flight Plans.