JAM/Panther Newsletter
VOL 5   ISSUE 4   February 2017
Newsletter Archive
Panther Online HelpDesk
Panther Documentation
Panther Videos:
Building Restful Web Services
CSS Support for Panther Web Grids
Panther Enterprise Gateway
Prolifics Named 2016 IBM Worldwide Information Integration and Governance Business Partner of the Year
This quarters’ JAM/Panther update announces the following topics:
JAM/Panther Facebook Fan Page
To all our Clients, Partners & Friends,

We hope that the start of 2017 has been a good one for you. Last year we released our Eclipse JPL plugin so you can develop and edit your code easily and utilize the wide array of plug-in modules available both commercially and free. This enables you to edit JPL, HTML, CSS, XML, JSON, C++, and other objects all in one place. It also allows you to use the source control and deployment automation tools that work with Eclipse. We recently released JAM/Panther and Panther Web run-time components for non-production use in our developer cloud. So if you are not connecting the dots, we can stand up the cloud instance, pull the source, build, deploy, test and run, all in rapid succession. These efforts are all designed to give your RAD projects a boost, taking advantage of any available productivity gain, while still maintaining and leveraging your current investments. After all, nobody else gives a 15+ year application life from your investment these days.

In addition to these developments, the Java XML/Web Service stub generation (JCO) has been extremely popular as clients look to leverage their application code for service architectures. Our JSON/REST gateway add-on (PEG) is available, but adoption has been slower than expected, so we will release a Java JSON/Rest stub generator this year. Early adoption versions can be obtained upon request.

We also have several application modernization projects in-flight right now where the heart of the JAM/Panther functionality is being enhanced to support browsers, mobile and tablet devices. These projects have helped us develop some enhanced capabilities for session and content caching, where we are leveraging replicated/clustered grid technologies, making it easier to maintain context across multiple instances and even sites, and really quickly. We have built standard methods for storing and retrieving the cache data from within your application code. We have also created other utilities for searching and improving the use of global storage, thus helping move to the cache and eliminate unnecessary operations. We are willing to share these with you upon request, or we will utilize them if you’d like us to help you with modernization of your JAM or Panther application.

If you don’t have plans to update your application anytime soon, but would like to have help with maintenance of the application, we now offer managed services where our offshore team will help support and maintain your code under a SLA contract. One big advantage of using our managed services is that our offshore team has direct access to the product development team to get answers and expert advice.

I just want to thank our customers, partners, and distributors for their support and participation in our development and beta programs. I am looking forward to another great year of development and innovation as we push the boundaries even further.

Mike Hastie
CTO, Prolifics


The Panther Product Practice is hosting a Webinar on Feb 22nd 2017 and we would like to invite you. The webinar will focus on learning how to leverage the investment you’ve made in your JAM and Panther applications. Using today’s development tools, we will demonstrate how to create a more modern user interface, how to integrate with other business applications to be able to deliver new capabilities for end users, and more.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to speak to the Team as well as to have your questions answered.
A couple of years ago, a longtime customer of Prolifics was facing a dilemma. They had a major application that was developed over 20 years ago and had by some accounts over 100 man years of development and maintenance time invested. The application was still providing value, but it was a character-based application running on UNIX, and end users were asking for a rewrite of the application to take advantage of the newer, more’ slick user interfaces’ available today. So the customer knew it was time to make a big decision, and they began the process of exploring their options. They knew one option was to completely rewrite the application using new technologies.

The options for a rewrite were many, but the risks were great. Our customer even went through a small pilot project using Microsoft .NET, but after a year of development and significant costs, they abandoned the project. They decided to talk to Prolifics to see what we could suggest; after all the current application was based on our JAM product. They didn’t think we had a magic bullet, but decided it was worth hearing what we could recommend. When we told them that we could move the application to the Web and create a more modern user interface, all without rewriting the entire application, they were intrigued.

So we started off by conducting a proof-of-concept, where we migrated a few of their application screens to Panther/Web so they could see how the new screens would look. The customer was thrilled with what they saw and wanted to learn what would be the effort and cost to move the entire application to the Web. So we performed an assessment on their application, examining screens and code, to develop effort estimates for the Web migration. We are now several months into the migration process and all is going well. Read more about the technical details of the migration process here.
JAM/Panther Facebook Fan Page
Stay informed on JAM/Panther going-ons by joining our JAM/Panther Facebook Fan Page. This page is run by the Product Team at Prolifics. Feel free to share development and other Panther/JAM related questions and challenges.
"Our relationship with Prolifics software now goes back over 20 years when we originally purchased JAM from JYACC Inc. after a recommendation by the Butler Bloor Group. This reputable firm of consultants checked all the current offerings that were then available and they recommended that we replace our ageing software development tool, which was then a character based 3GL, with the excellent product called JAM. The consultants also recommended that we should replace our old C-ISAM database with an up-to-date offering from Borland, namely Interbase. Since those early days Interbase has migrated to Firebird and Jam has become Panther from Prolifics. Our original Silicon Graphics platform has been changed to Windows Server and the best part was that JAM ran seamlessly on both platforms.

We used JAM/Panther to completely re-write our entire Management Information System. We are a folding carton manufacturer and the software encompasses the entire workflow from the entry of customers and enquiries through to processing estimates and quotations and the entry of Sales Orders and their conversion to Works Orders. Detailed instructions are passed to the Shop Floor where production data is captured for detailed analysis and costing purposes. The system also comprises a stock system for raw materials, work in progress and finished goods. Time and attendance data is also captured using biometric interfaces and this is fed into a proprietary payroll package. Invoices and delivery notes are also produced using your software and exported to a Sage accounts package. Current developments include detailed quality record keeping as well as a CRM system to improve and monitor customer service.

While there are commercially available packages that are specifically suited to our industry there are none that match the sophistication and ability of bespoke written software. Panther is a delight to work with and is simple to use, especially using the GUI based editor. Complex software can be quickly written and the use of repositories and inheritance often mean that a property needs only to be set once and can be repeatedly used without duplication of effort. The COM version that we use allows a wealth of ActiveX add-ons and third-party tools to be used and we make extensive use of Microsoft Outlook integration. I have checked the market place for any alternatives occasionally but can never find a product that can beat Panther. Prolifics are a responsive company and continue to develop the software which is great to see. Support is excellent and responsive too."

~Lawrence Bridger
Bridger Packaging is a division of T D Bridger Limited
United Kingdom
What would you like to see in the next Quarterly Update?
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