LANSA today announced the availability of LongRange, a development tool focused entirely on RPG developers – enabling them to build and maintain stylish, modern and business-focused mobile application solutions, without needing to learn additional (and possibly unachievable) skills like HTML5, CSS3, PHP, JavaScript, Java, or Objective-C.

For companies utilizing IBM i technology in their Line-of-Business operations, this will significantly shorten the time-to-market and noticeably lower the total-cost-of-ownership of their mobile apps.

LongRange in a nutshell:

• Build native mobile apps using only RPG/ CL with DDS.
• Download the iPhone/iPad app from the Apple iTunes App store today.
• Download the Android app from Google Play soon.
• Develop with only your current level of programming expertise. 
• Develop without requiring any Objective C or any Java skills. 
• Develop without requiring any JavaScript, HTML, or CSS knowledge. 
• Write once and deploy to both Apple and Android mobile devices.
• Stop worrying – maintaining different versions for different Web Browsers is eliminated.
• Utilize all the unique mobile device features like GPS, camera, audio, SMS, etc.
• Automatically push app updates directly to mobile devices.
• Create mobile apps in the shortest time-to-market: hours not days.
• Reduce the cost of maintaining and extending your mobile apps.

LongRange ships with tons of fully programmed application examples, pages of sample code, a full set of online tutorials and a LongRange Community Forum for customer Q&A and posting of Tips and Techniques.

What makes LongRange different?
• No new skills required – you only need RPG or CL and DDS to build native mobile apps. There are thousands of these experts in every country. More importantly, you can have your apps built by the same developers who maintain and understand your core business application.

• Shortest time-to-market – significantly reduce the time to design, program and deploy native apps for multiple mobile platforms:
o RPG or CL with DDS is used on the server. There is no programming required for the mobile device at all . . . none at all!
o Using the same development tools, techniques and methods you currently employ for building business applications on the IBM i, commercial grade native apps for mobile devices can now be developed by your existing IT staff.
o You don’t have to spend extra time and money learning any new programming languages such as Objective C (Apple), Java (Android), or other coding techniques like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. We’ve cut the learning curve for new tricks to zero.
o The same RPG or CL programs will service both Apple iOS and Android devices.
o You don’t have to spend time and money programming the resizing of the user interface of the native app to accommodate different screen sizes (e.g., Smartphones versus tablets) – it happens automatically.

• Lowest total-cost-of-ownership – maintaining and extending native mobile apps using familiar development skills will be as easy in the future as it is today with existing Line-of-Business applications:
o There is no additional cost of recruiting and retaining developers with specialized mobile app development skills to maintain the apps.
o You only need to maintain one set of RPG or CL source code to support multiple mobile platforms.
o Without any programming on the mobile device, you can easily expand the capabilities of your IBM i programs by providing access to a host of mobile device features including photos, videos, voice, documents, maps, geo-location, etc.

How does LongRange work?
LongRange consists of a server-side management service (LongRange Server) and an app that runs natively on a mobile device (LongRange mobile app). Users download the app to their mobile device, connect to the server and are ready to use the business applications.

When a user of a mobile device invokes the LongRange mobile app, the action sends a request to the LongRange Server, which invokes the associated RPG or CL program to perform its processing and issue a send screen command. The LongRange Server sends the screen to the LongRange app that presents the screen on the mobile device.

What does a LongRange app look like?
The LongRange app processes input and output from IBM i programs with a significantly enhanced user interface on mobile devices, such as Apple iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android.

• The user interface is extended with touch and enhanced visually for use on mobile devices.
• Apps can send and receive files between a mobile device and a server.
• IBM i programs can use the capabilities provided by mobile devices, including the camera, voice and geo-location services.

How to Start using LongRange
All you need to know about LongRange is at, where you can download all the LongRange software for a 30-day free trial.