OpenEdge Advanced Business Language

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OpenEdge Advanced Business Language (ABL)
Developer(s) Progress Software Corporation
Stable release 10.2A OpenEdge / November 3, 2008; 166811743 ago
Operating system Cross-platform (see below)
Type RDBMS
License Proprietary
Website http://www.progress.com

OpenEdge Advanced Business Language, or OpenEdge ABL for short, is a business application development language created and maintained by Progress Software Corporation (PSC). The language, typically classified as a fourth-generation programming language, uses an English like syntax to simplify software development.[1] The name was changed in 2006 to OpenEdge Advanced Business Language (OpenEdge ABL), by PSC, from PROGRESS, a.k.a. Progress 4GL, in order to overcome a presumed industry perception that 4GL's were less capable than other languages.[2] The language was called PROGRESS or Progress 4GL prior to the release of version 10.0. A subset of the language, called SpeedScript, is used in the development of web applications.[3]

OpenEdge ABL helps developers to develop applications optionally using its own integrated relational database and programming tool. These applications are portable across computing systems and allow access to various popular data sources without having to learn the underlying data access methods. This means that the end-user of these products can be unaware of the underlying architecture.

By combining a fourth generation language and relational database, OpenEdge ABL allows the use of the Rapid Application Development (RAD) model for developing software. A programmer and even end users can do rapid prototyping using the integrated and GUI tools of the development environment.

Contents

History

1984 First Commercial Release

1989 Version 5

1990 Version 6

1993 Version 7

1995 Version 8

1998 Version 9

December 10, 2002 Progress Dynamics 2.0 announced - the application environment for the OpenEdge business platform[4]

February 17, 2004 OpenEdge 10 announced[5]

2005 OpenEdge Studio packages[6]

  • Progress Version 9
  • Progress WebClient
  • Progress Dynamics Version 2.1

February 8, 2006 OpenEdge 10.1 announced - addition of object-oriented extensions to ABL, and new auditing service[7]

February 13, 2007 OpenEdge 10.1b announced - adds support for 64-bit data formats[8]

April 15, 2008 OpenEdge 10.1c announced - first business application development platform to support IPv6[9]

November 3, 2008 OpenEdge 10.2A announced -New OpenEdge GUI for .NET that allows developers to create modern WinForms-style UI's without leaving the OpenEdge environment.

Syntax and Semantics

Progress / ABL is a strongly-typed, English-like, procedural language. A block of code may be said to have a transaction scoped to it, in which case database changes will be committed when it completes. An error raised within such a block will undo these changes. These defaults may be overridden by the programmer.

Simple programs run without a Graphical User Interface, but there is syntax to create one programatically; or programmers can use the provided tools to build one.

Examples

Hello World

The following ABL code creates a window with the text "Hello, World!" and a button labeled "OK".

DEFINE VARIABLE w AS HANDLE NO-UNDO.
 
CREATE WINDOW w ASSIGN 
    WIDTH = 50
    HEIGHT = 5
    MESSAGE-AREA = FALSE
    STATUS-AREA = FALSE.   
 
CURRENT-WINDOW = w.
 
DEFINE BUTTON btnOK LABEL "OK" SIZE 12 BY 1.2.
FORM 
    "Hello World!" VIEW-AS TEXT AT COL 20 ROW 2
    btnOK AT COL 20 ROW 4
    WITH FRAME f SIZE 50 BY 5 NO-BOX THREE-D.
 
VIEW FRAME f.
ENABLE btnOK WITH FRAME f.
WAIT-FOR "CHOOSE" OF btnOK.
DELETE OBJECT w.

OR let OpenEdge think for you and create a simple message box:

MESSAGE "Hello World!"
    VIEW-AS ALERT-BOX INFO BUTTONS OK.

also, you can use ERROR and WARNING instead of INFO to change the message icons

OR to be most simplistic

DISPLAY "Hello World!".

SQL select Equivalent

The SQL statement:

SELECT * FROM customer;

can be expressed in Progress / ABL as:

FOR EACH customer NO-LOCK:
    DISPLAY customer.
END.

SQL update Equivalent

The SQL statement:

UPDATE customer 
    SET salesman = 'Fred'
    WHERE custno = 14;

can be expressed in Progress / ABL as:

FIND customer 
    WHERE customer.custno = 14
    EXCLUSIVE-LOCK NO-ERROR.
 
IF AVAILABLE customer THEN ASSIGN customer.salesman = 'Fred'.

(Some assumptions have been made about indexing, locking and transaction scoping in order to keep this example simple.)

Notes

  1. Campbell, John, Programmer's Progress, a guide to the progress language. white star software, 1991
  2. Salvador Vinals, Introducing OpenEdge Advanced Business Language (ABL), PSC whitepaper, 2007
  3. Crawford, G. WebSpeed Complete, Innov8 Computer Solutions, ISBN 0-9718679-0-9
  4. Progress Dynamics 2.0 announced
  5. OpenEdge 10 announcement
  6. Progress OpenEdge Studio
  7. OpenEdge 10.1 announcement
  8. OpenEdge 10.1b announcement
  9. OpenEdge 10.1c announcement

References

See also

nl:Progress 4GL ru:Progress 4GL

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