LANSA (development environment)

LANSA is an integrated development environment (IDE) for building software applications that can run on IBM i, Windows and Linux server platforms, or in the Cloud (AWS or Azure).

The LANSA development environment includes:

High-level programing language

The Rapid Development and Maintenance Language (RDML) is a programming language using the syntax of IBM i Control Language (CL), a scripting language used by the IBM's OS/400 operating system. RDMLX is the extended version of RDML and includes extra features, commands, data types, and functions that are used in component development.

Business rules and data definitions repository

The LANSA development environment includes a metadata repository which is an enhanced type of data dictionary. The repository is a database that contains data and file definitions, business rules, application templates, and RDML code.

The repository stores information about fields (or data elements) in the application including descriptions, column headings, edit codes, visualizations, default values, help text, and prompt programs. It holds information about files and application database including physical files, logical files (or views), relationships, file definition attributes, file validation rules, trigger programs, multilingual definitions, virtual fields, and predetermined join fields. Objects and components used for event-driven Windows applications also reside in the repository.

Applications share objects and logic from the repository and the repository is an active participant with the applications as both the custodian of the data and business rule definitions, and the rule enforcer.

Data management services

The data management services provide a data abstraction layer, similar to a data access layer, that separates the physical data from applications that use the data.

Applications access data using data management programs generated from data definitions and business rules held in the repository. The data management programs know about the structure and relationships of the database and the business rules that control create, read, update and delete actions. When definitions and rules change the data management programs require regeneration but the applications that use the data require no change.

Applications are independent of data structures,[1] formats and locations and access the data by issuing requests to the data management programs.

DOC With Visual LANSA’s Web development tools you can rapidly generate Web applications for use on desktop, laptop or mobile devices that securely access corporate data.

Visual LANSA simplifies designing and creating Web applications. It hides the underlying complexity of application development and automates Web development activities. Developers can build Web applications starting from a blank page or use a wizard to guide them through the early stages of development.

These features make it easy to build dynamic Web applications with the appearance and performance of desktop applications.


  1. IBM Redbook SG246393, Chapter 5, decoupling the database from application programs
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