What features does FWD offer?
The FWD conversion process and runtime environment support a critical mass of legacy features necessary to convert and run a wide range of existing Progress applications. FWD includes tools to migrate your application data to a choice of database backends. The same converted application code is used, regardless of the choice of database.
FWD offers exciting new capabilities not available in existing applications, including a Direct-to-Web deployment option for GUI and ChUI applications, and an optional, enhanced security model.
Direct-to-Web is an exciting new capability, which surfaces an application's GUI or ChUI interface directly through a web browser! Direct-to-Web is a built-in deployment option immediately available upon conversion of a GUI or ChUI application. For an application which uses standard 4GL GUI or ChUI widgets/controls, it requires no rewrite of an application's user interface; in fact, it requires no additional development effort beyond the normal conversion process. So, once an application is converted to run as a desktop client (GUI or ChUI) or via a terminal or terminal emulator (ChUI), it also can be surfaced through a web browser. The same user interface which users are used to working with as a desktop client is now available through the web!
Here's an example screen shot of a GUI screen from an ABL ADM/ADM2 demo application, converted with FWD. It is presented in a browser using the FWD web client, in virtual desktop mode:
Direct-to-Web also provides the capability to integrate legacy applications with newer web applications. If your organization is undergoing a modernization campaign or a push to the web, but a rewrite of your existing Progress GUI application is not feasible, Direct-to-Web offers features to ease the integration of a converted, legacy 4GL application into a "from-scratch" web application. This can be useful in a scenario where new or expanded functionality is being offered by a new web application, but legacy features must continue to be supported.
FWD supports the following major feature areas:
Unlike with Progress data servers, your application code does not need to change in order to support a different back end. The same converted code will work with your choice of database, and the application's behavior will be the same, to the extent the database implementation supports the minimum features needed by FWD.
The following databases are currently supported:
Many applications use a hand-tooled security model which commingles security data with business data. FWD offers the option to extract this security data and maintain it in an LDAP or XML-based directory. This entails some custom conversion work and data migration work, but offers the capability to centrally manage users, groups, and permissions.