Presto Video: Building Autocompletes

April 16th, 2014 No comments

As part of our Presto Learning Series, Scott Honeyman has created a new seven-minute video that walks you through adding an autocomplete to a Customer City field.

With an autocomplete you can let users start typing into a field, and after they’ve entered a few characters, display an automatically refreshing list of suggested matches. This is much better than forcing them to go out to a separate lookup program to retrieve or confirm a value. This feature also works well for people who know exactly what they want to enter – they can just keep typing and tab to the next field when they’re done, without interruption or having to lift their hands from the keyboard.

In the video example Scott further limits the subset of cities based on the State field on the page. You will also pick up some tips on building SQL queries in Presto, using parameters, and incorporating screen data into your SQL queries.

About Autocompletes
Autocompletes are one of the most useful enhancements you can add to your modernized applications.

Very roughly speaking, in data entry there are three categories of information:

  • Fields with very limited options. These can include Y/N flags, the months of the year or other limited options you would list right on a screen. In online input forms these can be effectively handled with radio buttons, checkboxes and dropdown lists.
  • Fields with near-infinite options. Other fields have such a huge range of valid values that no one could remember or guess them. For completely unstructured data, you would use input fields or text areas, or in cases where the user is  selecting from a huge data set, perhaps lookup programs with multiple filters.
  • All other input fields. Autocompletes are a great feature for this third category – any field that a human will start to learn the patterns to and be able to at least partially guess.

As you can imagine, this type of field is very common and as a result you’ll have noticed that autocompletes are now ubiquitous on the web. Your users will certainly expect to find them in your web app too!

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Categories: Presto Tags:

BCD Products Safe from OpenSSL Heartbleed Bug

April 15th, 2014 No comments

We’re happy to report that the OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability, also known as CVE-2014-0160, does not affect any BCD products. Here are the specific details about each product:

  • WebSmart ILE, Clover, Presto and Nexus use the IBM i HTTP Server, which is not affected by the Heartbleed bug, as reported by IBM.
  • WebSmart/Clover SSL client (initssl(), posturl(), and other SSL functions) uses GSKit, which isn’t affected.
  • Zend Server and WebSmart PHP, e.g. openSSL functions, are not affected. Zend Server uses the IBM 5733SC1 component, which uses OpenSSL version 0.9.8. This version is not vulnerable.

You can verify your OpenSSL version by logging into a green screen session and entering:

  1. STRQSH [enter]
  2. openssl version [enter]

You can also check your OpenSSL version via PHP script. Run the following script and you’ll see the version under the SSL Version section: <?php phpinfo(); ?>

Our customer portal,, uses Nexus and the IBM i HTTP Server, and therefore wasn’t affected. If you use the same user id/password on other sites that might be affected by the bug, we recommend that you consider changing your myBCD password.

We also recommend looking into the Heartbleed bug further and how it might impact other areas of your network, including VPN. IT Jungle’s Heartbleed Post-Mortem article is a good place to start and recommends changing your IBM i passwords for powerful users and administrators.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Technical Support.

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Categories: News and Events Tags:

Presto Video: Creating and Using Dynamic Dropdown Lists

March 28th, 2014 No comments

Scott Honeyman recently published a useful video (2:33) on how to create dynamic dropdown lists in Presto.

You may have window lookup programs in your existing green screen applications that users invoke to select from lists of options or valid values. In situations where the set of available options is both dynamic (perhaps based on other values on the screen) and relatively short (typically less than 15 possible values), a dynamic drop down is a great UI alternative. Among other advantages, a dynamically loaded dropdown list will save your users keystrokes and will also generally make for a cleaner UI.

This example (number 303) is the first in a new series of example videos we will be profiling in blog articles over the coming weeks. There are already a half dozen additional videos posted on various topics. We highly encourage you to watch these videos, not only to learn about the explicit topics they cover, but also for the other tips you’ll pick up from Scott on how to use the Presto design tools more effectively! For example, in this video, you’ll get to watch how Scott adds elements to his screen and creates SQL queries.

These videos are published via YouTube, and are best viewed in full screen mode in High Definition. If your video doesn’t default to 720P [HD] when it starts playing, click the screen once more to pause the video then click the gear icon in the lower right to set it to 720P. The icon with the brackets in the bottom right corner will expand the image to full screen mode.

We have plans for many more videos in the coming months, so if you have any feedback on these, or have a topic to suggest, please let me know!


Categories: Presto Tags:

WebSmart Crash Tales

March 26th, 2014 No comments

It was cloudy, that day in Pensacola, not too hot, not too cool.  And somewhere in the city, amidst the bustle of a busy morning, at 9:03 local time, a WebSmart programmer sat staring at her screen in mild annoyance.  She had just imported a definition into her change management project and closed the IDE when for reasons (to her) unexplained, the tool had crashed.

But all was not lost.

In its dying breath, as the bits were disintegrating and fading from memory, the WebSmart IDE summed a last gasp of binary energy and hurled out a plea through cyberspace. Thanks to the magic of web services, Catapult, and a relatively new option in the WebSmart IDE, this plea landed in the collective inboxes of the WebSmart development team a short while later.

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Categories: WebSmart ILE, WebSmart PHP Tags:

Upcoming Webinar: Is It Time to Modernize Your IBM i Interfaces?

March 21st, 2014 No comments

Many IBM i programmers have delivered RPG or COBOL problems via green screens for decades. Seasoned end users may be accustomed to the 5250, but does that mean the interface is sufficient in 2014? Paul Tuohy would argue – NO!

If you’re thinking of giving your green screens a web GUI, or if you’d like tips on how to boost end-user productivity with GUIs, I invite you to join us on Thursday, March 27 at 2PM ET for “Modernizing IBM i Interfaces.” In this iPro Developer-hosted webinar, Paul will discuss:

  • Why GUIs can do everything 5250 can, and more
  • How GUIs can speed up data entry and make it easier to present information
  • Features of a GUI design
  • Knowing your devices
  • Do you need to be a designer?

In the second half of this presentation, BCD’s Marcel Sarrasin will show you how to give your green screens a web GUI with Presto. You’ll see a live demo of adding datepickers, drop downs and more, all without having to change your RPG or COBOL source code.

Sign up now!

Even if you can’t attend the live event, sign up anyway, and you’ll receive a link to the recording.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Categories: News and Events, Presto Tags:

Zend Server 6.3 Hotfix Patches Critical Security Flaw in PHP

March 21st, 2014 No comments

Zend Technology recently released a hotfix for customers running Zend Server 6.3 with PHP 5.5 or 5.4.  This will affect WebSmart PHP customers who are running these versions.

This is an important security update that could allow a malicious user to run arbitrary code or create a denial of service (DOS) attack. You can find more information about the vulnerability here.

You can download hotfixes on Zend’s download page. Both Hotfix 1 and Hotfix 2 contain the fix for this vulnerability.

(Original story: IT Jungle)

Categories: WebSmart PHP Tags:

Nexus 4.08 Is Available for Download

March 17th, 2014 No comments

Nexus 4.08 is now available for download from or our public website. You can upgrade directly to version 4.08 from any release 3.60 or higher.

This version includes a number of fixes and enhancements, including:

  • Resolved a reported problem with adding new events to the calendar.
  • Performance improvements to the document tree.
  • Resolved a problem where in some circumstances a nested folder would not display its contents.
  • Resolved a problem where you could not work with authorities from the Manage Menus page.
  • Resolved height issues with the Group Links portlet when minimizing or restoring icons.
  • Improvements to the upgrade process.
  • Resolved problem with cloning skins.
  • Resolved a reported problem where the ECM Navigator context menu could be partly hidden.

You can find the complete list of changes at the bottom of the Nexus Updates page.

Please give us a call if you have any questions!

Categories: Nexus Portal Tags:

Catapult 7.82 Is Available for Download

March 13th, 2014 No comments

Catapult 7.82 is now available for download. This version includes numerous changes and enhancements, including:

  • Added an option to combine links into a single email when splitting.
  • New command, ZRUNNETRUL, for initiating the distribution of IFS and network files via the command line and CL programs.
  • Added an option to specify a From Name (e.g. Robert Smith <>).
  • Removed email validation that was preventing some customers from distributing files to custom addresses.
  • Added the environment name to admin emails for Catapult Poller start and stop notices.
  • Increased the length of the archive path field to 512 characters.
  • Improved the response times for the spool file selection window.
  • Added an option to append a plain-text file to the existing one.
  • Added an option to merge split sections with previous key value sections.
  • Improved the syntax checking for the substring replacement function.
  • Added access to the Logs & Configuration folder from the Catapult Launchpad.
  • Corrected a problem where a blank post-processing action was generating an error.
  • Prevented an error where the PDF generation process could fail when a font was unavailable.
  • Improved action taken when login fails.

Please visit the Catapult Updates page to review the complete list of enhancements and fixes.

You can download Catapult 7.82 from our website or myBCDsoftware. If you have any questions about upgrading or the new features, please get in touch with Technical Support!


Categories: Catapult Tags:

Upcoming Webinar: How to Deliver Successful Web Projects with Wireframes

March 3rd, 2014 No comments

Have you ever deployed new WebSmart web applications or Presto screens but were disappointed when the users weren’t as pleased with the project as you were?

Web development projects fail for a variety of reasons. Stakeholders may not have been on the same page at the start of the project, failed to clearly communicate their expectations, or didn’t deliver complete specs.

The best way to overcome these issues is to have all stakeholders sign off on a visual representation of the application before development begins. This can be accomplished through creating prototypes with wireframes.

Help your next web development project succeed by joining us on Thursday, March 6 at 1pm EST for “How to Deliver Successful Web Projects with Wireframes.” You’ll learn:

  •    What a wireframe is
  •    How wireframes reduce risk and development time
  •    A live demo of how to build a wireframe

At the end of the presentation, you’ll also learn how BCD Professional Services can partner with you to deliver modern web applications and GUIs on the IBM i.

Sign up now!

Even if you can’t attend the live event, sign up anyway, and you’ll receive a link to the recording.

We look forward to seeing you there!


BCD Customer Spotlight: Seneca Sawmill Cuts Costs and Time With GUI and Web Technology

February 12th, 2014 No comments

Recently, IBM Systems Magazine profiled Seneca Sawmill Company, a sustainable timber processing mill that uses BCD tools to automate many time-consuming manual processes.

Here’s how Seneca has reduced paperwork and improved the mill’s operational efficiency (which may give you ideas for an upcoming project!):

  • A WebSmart-developed mobile web application gives truck loaders the ability to draw load diagrams using their finger on iPads, then save the diagrams to the IFS.
  • Shipping personnel, including forklift operators, use Nexus Portal and WebSmart web applications to access orders on desktops and iPads.
  • Several internal web applications developed with WebSmart ILE and Clover allow mill supervisors to input statistical information for morning reports via a web browser.
  • IBM i spooled reports are automatically routed to specific personnel via email with Catapult.
  • Presto was used to give a graphical interface to a human resources application.
  • Twin large screen TVs in the sales department run a real-time program that shows total sales and shipments by mill and location (today and month-to-date).

Read the full story on IBM Systems Magazine »

We always enjoy seeing our customers’ IT initiatives showcased in industry publications and on our own website. If you have a story that you’d like to share with us, please contact Candice Schultz.

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