Consultingwerk SmartComponents used in Mci iLAB Modernisation Project

Consultingwerk SmartComponents used in Mci iLAB Modernisation Project

The past few years have seen the commencement of a modernization project for all Mci IT’s Progress OpenEdge based applications using German based Consulting Werk Smart Components ( .  This is and will continue to be a key factor in ensuring that our applications remain current and offer the most value to our customers.


The modernization process itself, on a high level, entails splitting the front-end and business logic from the database; this is essential as the world moves towards computing on more secure and better performing cloud-based platforms and mobile devices.


Another major benefit of the modernization process is that an existing user would simply start performing certain functions from a new application without having to move onto a new database.  As new functions are developed and implemented in the new application they are removed from the old application and process continues until all functions are available in the new application.  By this stage the user will be on an entirely new application without having to have had to move onto a new database.  All setup information and logic are retained to avoid any negative impact on user operations.


The Smart Components development platform comes with endless benefits that include:


  • Simultaneous opening of multiple input screens

Exiting the current input function is no longer required when additional data needs to be captured. Simply open the required function, add the data and continue with the current operation.


  • Screen resizing

Screen resizing is now available and is no longer limited to the fixed size that is used in the current Laboratory Information Management System (Lims). The “WYSIG” (what you see is what you get) concept is also more prominent as there is much more data visible on the screen. The screens are also “responsive” which means they grow or shrink as you resize them.



  • Object orientation

Object-oriented design (OO) is used throughout the system to make use of the advantages of encapsulation, abstraction, inheritance and polymorphism for ease of maintenance and splitting the business logic from the frontend.



  • Web enabled

Web enabled refers to a system that can be used through the web. It can be accessed through a Web browser but can also run as a stand-alone system. This caters for places where poor or no internet communication is available.



  • Preferences stored per user

Input screens and formats are now stored by user’s preference. Additional columns that are not part of the normal view, can be pulled to a browser from a column picker and that will be saved to the user’s registry.


There is also an option to reset the views to the original settings for the end-user.

Application CLab-I Current CLab-I Smart Components
Front-end to Back-end Integrated Split
Web enablement Limited to Hosted Servers Hosted Servers, Cloud Servers, Mobile Apps
Screen views One at a time Multiple
Screen size Fixed Full and adaptable
Object Orientated Partially Yes
User preferred settings No Yes
Dashboard views No Yes
View Export No Yes


The preview for the newly modernised system will be presented to some of our customers at the CAPSA ( conference at Sun City from the 13th to the 16th October 2019.


The modernized system is due for launching in early 2020.


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