Common's UI Modernization Challenge

A challenge to compare how Modernization Vendors approach and handle the same legacy system

CloudServices24x7 is a fictitious company created by Jim Buck and WMCPA to support the material included with his Programming in ILE RPG book. At the 2016 WMCPA conference the Legacy IBM i system used in the materials of that book were used as a UI Modernization challenge. The Common User Group then picked it up and used it at their Conferences where they created a special IBM i Legacy System UI Modernization Education track.

Modernization vendors were given the same set of IBM i programs, files, and 5250 Green-screen UI with the task of using their tools during a 75-minute session to create a modernized system. Attendees were able to see live how each vendor approached the same problem. Surround crushed it of course!

The purpose of the challenge

For those attendees that are looking to modernize their IBM i applications but don’t know which solution is best for their business.

Challenge Rules

  1. You may change the layout and program flow to accommodate your own design, but the general information and functionality presented to the user must remain the same as that provided by the original programs.
  2. You may make additions to the database to include image storage and other tables or columns to allow for improvements in the design.
  3. You may create your underlying program structure, service programs, and business logic prior to the session, but the development of the rich UI must occur during the 75-minute presentation.

Challenge Requirements

CloudServices24x7, a fictitious company, wants an Order Entry application to add and maintain customer orders.

  1. You will need to use the Customer Master (CSCSTP), Orders (CSCORD), Orders/Products (CSCORDP) and the Inventory Master (CSCINVP).
  2. The application must prompt for a Customer number. If the customer number is valid, the application will present a screen that will allow the user to change an order or enter a new one.
  3. The application must allow the user to add, change, and delete orders.
  4. Orders must allow for multiple line items.
  5. The order items should include an image of the part.
  6. An order should be exportable to a spreadsheet directly from the screen.

The IBM i Physical Files and associated RPG programs were provided in an IBM i save file.

CloudServices24x7 Legacy IBM i Green Screens App

  • 1 Program
  • 5 Screens
    + one Prompt

CloudServices24x7 Database Diagram

  • 4 Physical Files
  • 45 Fields
  • 3 File Relationships

Challenge Accepted!

Surround was very excited for this opportunity to demonstrate what we could do. How we faired in comparison to others was even more enlightening. Ready. Set. Go!

See how Surround met the challenge in winning superhero fasion

Submit your own Modernization Challenge

We love to be tested. If you’re facing a modernization challenge and would like to see how adeptly you too can become a Software Superhero, simply fill in the form below and we’ll show you the way.

About this Website

This website was part of Surround's Winning Solution and was built in a few hours using the Accelerator CMS. CloudServices 24x7 is a fictional company. You can read more about it at We have also included content from that site under Original Site Pages as well. Special thanks to Jim Buck and WMCPA for first doing this challenge and providing it to Common to replicate.