Home | Print | Archive | Blog | Contact
A Quarterly Newsletter for Unisys ClearPath Forward Clients | January 2018

Tightly Connected: ClearPath Forward and Python Programming

Keeping your ClearPath Forward™ system in its rightful place at the core of your operations relies in no small part on your ability to make it an attractive environment for younger programmers. And for many recent graduates, that means giving them the ability to program for the ClearPath Forward environment using the Python language.

Well, here’s the good news: Your team – new and existing alike – can now author programs in this
popular language.

And they can do it today.

With the recently announced Rapid Application Development (RAD) paradigm, the Python language
can now access both ClearPath® MCP and ClearPath OS 2200 system resources, making it possible for your team’s modern skillsets to bring even more value to your ClearPath Forward environment.

A Perfect Match

The ClearPath MCP RAD for Python Environments leverages the ClearPath Application Integration Services (AIS) product to give Python applications access to native ClearPath Forward file systems – with full fidelity. Because it integrates with AIS, your developers can use a familiar development environment – the Microsoft® .NET Framework – to create applications capable of accessing files and calling library entry points in the MCP environment.

The best part is, any language that can access a .NET DLL can access ClearPath Forward files in both operating environments.

Additionally, MCP systems can use the MCP call-in feature in AIS to allow commodity code to invoke the code residing in your MCP library with nothing more than a method call. With the help of this powerful feature, practically anything you can do in an MCP library can now be easily invoked using Python. For instance, you can use the modules in Python that access databases via ODBC to access your ClearPath MCP databases.

The ClearPath OS 2200 RAD for Python Environments can easily make use of the rich set of Java Resource Adapters included in the OS 2200 environment. Using Jython, a version of Python that’s tightly integrated with Java, you can reference standard Java libraries and blend Python and Java applications, so they can easily interface with the Java Resource Adapters. This enables Java and Python programs to access the OS 2200 file system, TIP/HVTIP transactions, and DMS and RDMS databases using the Java EE Connector architecture.

In addition, you’ll be able to develop Python applications in the OS 2200 environment using the Microsoft .NET Framework through AIS. With this method, commodity code can leverage AIS to access the OS 2200 file system and call TIP/HVTIP transactions.

Making Python Part of Your World

The material offered alongside the ClearPath MCP RAD for Python Environments and ClearPath OS 2200 RAD for Python Environments walks you through the process of developing an application from start to finish. You’ll begin by creating an empty IronPython – an open-source implementation of the Python language we chose for its tight integration with Windows – or Jython project, and by the end of the tutorial, you’ll have a fully functioning application.

What’s more, complete the tutorials and you’ll develop the skills you need to efficiently write Python applications that leverage native ClearPath Forward resources. From building a fancy user interface in Windows Presentation Foundation that can access AIS to referencing Java libraries with existing ClearPath Java Resource Adaptors – and much, much more – you’ll be able to use the power of Python to manipulate your ClearPath Forward data with an ease you never dreamed possible.