Open Source Framework Overview

One of the best parts of Profound UI, the Web 2.0 UI Framework, is free and open source.

Making the framework source code available brings many benefits to our customers, including:

  • Better control over the software

  • Escaping vendor lock-in

  • Lower cost of ownership

  • Greater security and quality

  • Continuity

The framework provides developers with many built-in user interface widgets and client-side capabilities for browser and mobile applications.  Some examples of these include:

  • Grids with sorting, paging, row selection, context menus, collapsible content, etc.

  • Panels

  • Pop-up calendars

  • Tabs

  • Charts

  • Spinners

  • Sliders

  • Switches

  • Pull-down menus

  • Combos

  • Signature pads

  • Drag-and-drop capabilities

  • Auto-complete textboxes

  • Built-in data-type validation

  • Automatic client-side validation

  • Server-side validation system

  • Session management

Implementing these types of features without a framework can take many hours of custom programming.  However, when utilizing Profound UI, all of the above can be configured easily and quickly.

The features offered within the Profound UI Framework are in some ways similar to what’s offered in other popular JavaScript frameworks, such as jQuery, ExtJS, and Dojo.  However, unlike most other JavaScript frameworks, Profound UI is designed to be driven by a server-side language, such as Node.js, RPG or PHP, rather than just client-side JavaScript.  This way, server-side business application developers can be productive right away in creating functional Web 2.0 applications.  They can do most tasks using server-side code, while HTML, JavaScript, and CSS coding would only be required for advanced functionality.  

The framework is also more oriented towards business applications, rather than being a general-purpose framework.  That means that we put more effort into the details that are important to businesses.  For example, our capabilities for how numbers are formatted (with edit codes, edit words, blank fill vs zero fill, etc) are much more extensive than they would be in the other frameworks. For IBM i developers, we offer the concept of "subfiles", the ability to use keys like "field exit", and other capabilities that will be much more comfortable to existing IBM i programmers.

The user interface itself is defined through a simple JSON configuration, rather than programming.  In Profound UI, this JSON file is referred to as a Rich Display File.  Once the UI is described, it can be controlled by Node.js, RPG/CGI, PHP, or any other Web-capable language.

Profound UI also provides a number of commercial modules to help with development.  These include a full-featured Visual Designer Tool for describing the UI, a Handler for RPG Open Access to simplify RPG development, and an automated Green-Screen DDS to Rich UI Conversion module.