Power of Global Rules in HATS

For modernization of green screen legacy applications, pattern recognition and transformation of host input fields can be achieved by HATS global rules, Global rules can work with customized and non-customized (default rendered) screens. They can be defined at project level and screen level both.

In a situation where project-level and a screen-level global rule are both defined for the same field, the screen-level rule has higher priority.

Project-level global rules are really global for the HATS application; they are effective in screens both transformed by the rendering set, and by custom transformations. This enables entire application to recognize a particular host screen pattern without modifying any of your screen level transformations.

A global rule contains a configured recognition pattern and a transformation fragment. The pattern configuration states what kind of content to look for on the host screen. It transforms specific fields or all fields of a certain size, or those adjacent to a string you specify.
More effective use of global rules is possible when host application has uniformity along the complete application, like all F4 Lookup fields have an identification symbol (e.g “ -> “)  or word on host.



Following are few examples of global rules applied by the HATS, these can be applied once and users can witness the impact on all over the system.

Look Up Icon

We can create a rule in our HATS application to replace all appearances of “->” to an icon (e.g. Magnifying Glass) on clicking this icon HATS will send some command or function key to host (e.g. F4). This can be used to open a lookup window like following.



Clicking one row from the popover lookup window fills the corresponding field on the parent page.




Month Picker

We can create a rule to put all fields with some identification for being a month (e.g. “M/Y”) to put an icon with them.


When user clicks a month it is auto inserted into the corresponding text field.



Date Picker

Date pickers can be applied to the complete application using global rules, but there has to be some identification on host application to let HATS know where it should generate a date picker icon.


Clicking icon will open a JavaScript date picker, date chosen on the date picker will be auto inserted into the corresponding text fields.

Boolean Inputs

A global rule can be created to display a yes/no drop down with every field with some identification (e.g.” y/n”)



Global theme

We can apply a global theme with header, footer and background, this theme applies to all the screens of the application in one go.



Menu Items

Global rules using HATS default rendering can modernize the look and feel of the menu items across the application.





Sub files and tables,

Sub files and tables can also be modernized with improved look and feel by using global rules.



Function Key Button

We can create global rules to modernize all function key indications to buttons styled with CSS, but there has to be a consistency among function key and its text or purpose. (i.e. F1 has to be used for help for the entire application and F4 has to be only used for prompt everywhere in the application)

If a green screen application fails to provide such consistency the HATS will have difficulty in applying the correct icon on the button.

Also the text associated with the Function key has to be of approximately an average length so that the modernized button can hold the text else the text may overflow from the button, as we can only make button of a fixed width using a global rule. A work around to handle this overflowing text is by chopping off some part of the lengthier text caption.




Grids and drop downs

Global rules can globally apply table/grid themes and let us produce drop down input fields to perform actions on the table records.



Rational HATS applications on Apache Geronimo server

IBM Rational HATS applications are always known to be developed for IBM WebSphere Application or Portal Servers. Now we can develop, test, and deploy HATS web applications for the Apache Geronimo web application server along with Tomcat web container.

Apache Geronimo is an open source server runtime that meet the needs of enterprise JAVA developers and system administrators.

Downloading and Installing Geronimo Server

Download and install Geronimo server with the Tomcat web container:

  1. Download Apache Geronimo from here http://geronimo.apache.org/downloads.html.
  2. Extracting the .zip or .tar files and install it.
  3. Run the server from a command line window by changing the directory to geronimo_home/bin and entering the command: geronimo run.

The Geronimo Eclipse Plugin (GEP) provides integration between Eclipse, its Web Tools Platform (WTP) project, and Geronimo that enables you to utilize WTP features to develop, test, and deploy applications for the Apache Geronimo server using Rational SDP.

Install the Geronimo Eclipse Plugin (GEP), GEP version 2.2 has server adapters for version 1.1.x, version 2.0.x, version 2.1.x, and version 2.2 Apache Geronimo servers.

Configure Apache Geronimo as a server in Rational SDP for HATS test environment:

  1. At the Rational SDP menu bar, click Window > Preferences.
  2. In the left panel, expand Server section.
  3. Click on Runtime Environments.
  4. At the panel ‘Server Runtime Environments’, click Add here.
  5. In the New Server Runtime Environment dialog box, expand the Apache folder.
  6. Select the version of the Apache Geronimo server.
  7. Click Next to go to the panel, point to your local Geronimo server. In the field ‘Application server Directory’ enter the folder where the Geronimo server files are extracted.
  8. Click Finish.
  9. Click OK to close the panel ‘Preferences’.

After these steps, now we can create HATS applications within Rational SDP for Apache Geronimo servers.

Considerations / limitations for Geronimo servers

There are some differences between HATS web applications on Apache Geronimo server as compared to WebSphere Application Server. For instance, only single HATS web application is supported per .ear file on an Apache Geronimo server while WAS can run many.

Research Courtesy: Rafay Mirani (Rafi-u-Rehman)


Testing and Deploying HATS Applications on Apache Geronimo Server from Asif Hussain on Vimeo.