CoralTree Systems is delighted to announce the release of Version 5 of the Renaissance Framework. The Renaissance Framework is an Open Source developer's platform for the creation and deployment of robust, scalable and secure CGI-based applications on IBM's i servers.
Applications built using the Renaissance Framework run on the i Apache HTTP server, utilising the CGIDEV2 service procedures in order to deliver web pages to a browser. The MPL Licence has been carefully chosen as it allows developers to download and use the Framework free of charge and to incorporate the Framework in any commercial (chargeable) application they develop with impunity. The only restriction is that any bug fixes and enhancements developers make to the Renaissance Framework source code must be made available to the original author (CoralTree Systems Limited) and thereby to any other users of the Renaissance Framework.
Renaissance uses Ajax technology to provide the end user with smooth page transition and seamless server/browser interaction.
The Renaissance Framework provides:
- Comprehensive internationalisation capability.
- Multiple environment support.
- Full session management for maintaining state across multiple page requests.
- User security, with i user ID and password verification and role-based authority to each function.
- The ability to define your own data tables and allow the end user to maintain data through functionally rich web pages without writing a single line of code.
- Full audit trail of data updates.
- Automatic application resource locking.
- Built-in performance monitoring.
- CSS based themes.
All programs called via your web browser run on the i server and are written in ILE RPG IV using the CGI (Common Gateway Interface) standard - a cross-platform standard which establishes exactly how a program is invoked from a web browser. In this way dynamic web pages are built and served to the browser by the Apache HTTP server hosted on the i and which is included with i server OS. No additional hardware is required.
Renaissance makes extensive use of the CGIDEV2 development toolset, which in turn is based around a service program called CGISRVPGM2. This simplifies development by hiding the complexities of the HTTP APIs from the developer and allows HTML to be constructed dynamically from one or more pieces of template HTML on the IFS. The CGI development toolset is open-source and provided free-of-charge.
A typical application, written over Renaissance, would normally operate on a two-tier architecture (four if you include Apache and the client's browser, and five if your solution includes a back-end API-driven legacy application).
The CGI programs deal only with the handling of inbound requests, the presentation of the outbound HTML, and with non-business decision validation (such as checking for correctly formatted dates or numeric values). Business logic and data I/O is delegated to back-end server jobs via data queues. However, it is a developer decision to build an application in this way. Developers may choose to build a single-tier application (where the CGI program handles everything) should they so desire.
Renaissance can be downloaded for free at www.coraltree.co.uk. Technical Support for the Framework is available via a free-of-charge forum, with optional SLA-based commercial support packages available from CoralTree on request. For a cut down demo visit http://rns.coraltree.co.uk and log on with a user ID and password of demo.