Newlook Shows Developers How IBM i Applications Work

Application Insights by Looksoftware helps IBM i developers plan application modernization and develop UIs based on user behavior to save time and deliver greater business value.

Montreal, December 5, 2016 - IT departments that manage IBM i applications are often short-staffed and overworked. Keeping up with backlog and maintaining the status quo leaves little time and resources for important projects that will support business needs, such as modernizing applications with graphical interfaces to make them easier to us and accessible on mobile devices. How do you determine priorities and where to focus efforts when modernizing an application? Looksoftware, a division of Fresche, has the answer.

Looksoftware’s Newlook Developer includes Application Insights to help developers spend their time wisely. Application Insights allows developers to visually understand how users spend their time in the application – including which screens and fields are used most often – and then decide which parts of the application need to be modernized first. “This feature is based on the 80/20 rule of design theory,” says Nick Hampson, Newlook product manager. “Users spend approximately 80% of their time in 20% of the application, so 80% of the modernization effort should concentrate on the 20% most often used.”

Understanding how end users interact with an application is inherently difficult. IT departments often don’t know which screens are viewed most often and what the common user paths are throughout the application.

“During preliminary tests, we asked IBM i developers to map user behavior using Newlook Developer’s Application Insights and found that their initial assumptions of flow and field usage were incorrect,” says Nick Hampson. “We are eliminating the guesswork and looking at actual user data. If you want to modernize an application the smart way, you need to understand how it’s being used to know where process and workflow improvements can be made.”

Visualizing user behavior

To understand and analyze user behavior, you need to record it.  Traditionally, developers have had limited ability to record user behavior using “.nll” batch files – a collection of “.nl” files. With Newlook, developers can still leverage their .nl files and also take advantage of advanced recording capabilities in Newlook to capture data on individual users as they use the application, creating individual recording files for each user access.

Once the recordings are done, developers can import them into Newlook Developer’s Application Insights. There is no limit to the number of recording files – the more recordings added, the more accurate the information about general user behavior.

Newlook immediately creates a visual representation of how users have used the application, showing which screens were accessed most often, which function keys were used to get in and out of a screen, user processes and workflows, navigation trends, and which fields have been used most. There are different ways to visualize this data, including color-coding, a colored heat map, and an opacity heat map. The graphics can be split by visit or by time spent, and configured to show specific key information or all available data.

“This capability in Newlook Developer is especially important when you’re enabling applications for mobile devices, building web services, dividing applications into tabs or splitting applications,” says Nick Hampson. “We are very excited about Application Insights. It’s a completely new concept for developers, which will help people to modernize the right screens, with the right fields on them. It’s a game changer.”

How to learn more or schedule a demo

For an overview of Newlook Developer’s Application Insights, watch this video: More information and a demo are available by contacting your Fresche representative, or by contacting us directly: phone (1 800 361 6782) e-mail:

About Fresche

Fresche specializes in helping companies achieve their business goals and outcomes by better managing, enhancing and evolving their IBM i application environments. We transform traditional 5250 systems – modernizing, connecting and extending them to meet today’s end users’ expectations. Companies running RPG, COBOL, CA 2E SYNON and Java applications can rely on us for comprehensive solutions that optimize IBM i systems and help drive better business value and take advantage of technologies such as Web, Mobile, Cloud and Open Source solutions for IBM i.

We have solutions for:

  • GUI, Web and Mobile: Options to replace green screen applications and develop new customer facing web applications  
  • Analysis and Productivity: Automated tools to analyze and document your entire application and data environment
  • Staff Augmentation and Application Services: A highly seasoned team of IBM i experts who can take on support of your entire IT department, backfill retiring resources, or supply much-needed know-how at key moments
  • Code and Database Modernization: Services and automated conversion tools to move to Java, DDL, etc.
  • IT Strategy and Planning: Services that help you understand what you have, what you need, and how to get started.
  • Reporting and Document Distribution: Solutions that provide real-time information to everyone in the organization to help them make better decisions. 

Click here to download the two pager.


For further details, please contact:

 Fresche Legacy

 Christine McDowell, Marketing Director


 Tel: +1 514.747.7007

 Cell:+1 514.220.1309