4GL Rapid Application Development means higher quality, reduced complexity,
lower cost and easy maintenance. Applications can be developed entirely with
Blacksmith, or Blacksmith can be used in conjunction with other
development environments and with desktop environments, such as mixing 4GL
capabilities with Microsoft Visual Basic.
The ONware Difference
Blacksmith is 4GL development with a difference. Blacksmith in conjunction with ONware
separates the business rule components from the operating system, the user
interface and the database. ONware applications may be developed on one platform
and deployed on many. ONware is unique in its ability to provide concurrent
support for multiple and disparate database types, character terminals and
graphical workstations all from a single application source, a big plus when it
comes to maintenance.
Blacksmith delivers uncommon application development power, automating the
routine aspects of changing your green screens to Windows or Mac screens,
facilitating business object reuse, and enforcing business rules at the database
(global dictionary) level. And for the power-programmer, subroutine exits are
provided to give you absolute control where required. With ONware, application
distribution, data and application integrity, data replication, transaction
logging and data recovery are all simplified, which frees the developer to focus
on solving your business problems.
Rapid Application Development
The Blacksmith rapid application development approach is to organize and automate
the routine, time-consuming aspects of application development.
Blacksmith delivers a strong foundation for rapid and controlled application
development. Whether designing from scratch or modernizing the dated look and
functionality of your character based “green screens”, Blacksmith gives you complete
While most business rules can be handled with no programming; Blacksmith gives
the developer complete control, to incorporate legacy business logic and add
custom procedural code. Custom developed functions can be stored at the object
(dictionary) level for convenient and consistent reuse throughout the
Blacksmith includes a global object repository (data dictionary extension),
visual tools for rapid screen creation, multiple industry standard (Windows)
application integration alternatives, and data model and location flexibility to
support local and distributed databases.
Blacksmith provides concurrent support for relational databases such as Oracle,
DB2 and SQL Server as well as PICK styles such as UniVerse, UniData and PI/open.
GUI Visual Development
Blacksmith’s GUI approach will be familiar to Windows developers. It also
provides a comfortable transition for programmers more familiar with a
character-based development. It is equally suited for GUI client and
character-based terminal development.
Blacksmith provides a wizard form, WYSIWYG, drag and drop facility to place and
arrange objects onto application screens. With the click of a mouse, drill-down
to the lowest level business rules and any customized code you desire. Screen
objects are defined in the global object repository, simplifying screen design
and ensuring consistency. Rapid iterative prototyping is easy with the ability
to create objects, on-the-fly.
Windows, Macintosh, and Character Terminals
Blacksmith clients are benefiting from the ability to develop with GUI tools and
deliver to their Widows and Macintosh clients as well as those continuing to use
character-based terminals. This is a common need for organizations that support
dumb terminal users such as those out in the warehouse or manufacturing unit as
well as front and back office users.
Developers can even toggle between graphical and character views during the
development process to see the immediate effect of changes to a screen design in
GUI mode or character based display. A single source base means easy
maintenance; no changes to the application regardless of how it is deployed. The
user interface is determined at the point of deployment vs. the point of
Global Data Dictionary Provides Object
Reuse and Referential Integrity Rules
The Blacksmith global data dictionary is the cornerstone of programmer
productivity, application integrity, standardization, and business object reuse.
The Blacksmith global dictionary stores business rules at a high level so that they
are enforced consistently across all applications. Business rule objects are
independent of the specific programs in which they are employed and therefore,
behave the same in every application you place them.
Many other business objects and functions, such as default value, pattern
matching, and referential integrity, are stored in the global data dictionary,
allowing easy reuse of functions within and across application systems.
Application integrity is enforced, development productivity is fast, and
maintenance costs are reduced throughout the application development life cycle.
Referential integrity can be enforced automatically by simply selecting
options such as enforce referential integrity, allow cascade, delete foreign
key, delete foreign record—no more widows and orphans.
Automatic Lookup functionality based on
powerful Search Engine technology
Blacksmith adds value with a powerful search engine which provides query on
foreign key relationships, virtual data objects and complex ANDs ORS and NOTs.
Whether your need is for lookup on the sound of the name of an employee’s
dependent, the size and location of a company or the description of a product.
Blacksmith indexing and lookup features will give you access to your data like you
have never had before. Primary and secondary lookup parameters allows for
instantaneous retrieval of MultiValued and normalized data as well as giving the
programmer the ability to write customized retrieval logic.
Database Type, Structure and Location
Blacksmith allows development of applications without regard to the ultimate
physical database type, structure, or location. This reduces application
development concerns; and it protects future options for database platforms and
network topology. The logical model is maintained in the Blacksmith parameter
tables. If the database model is changed from a MultiValue model like UniVerse
to a first normal form (1NF) model, like Oracle, Blacksmith performs the required
data re-mapping or translation so that application programs do not have to be
changed. If the database is relocated to a different network node or server,
network directories are updated, and no change is required to the applications.