>> When you say that the Jacada server translates 5250 screens to GUI is it just
a screen scraper (which means you still have an interactive hit) or does it
convert the DDS to some other form and somehow change your RPG program to run in

Using the Jacada Innovator technology, the RPG applications are converted to
batch server programs with CL wrappers.  The workstation calls in the RPG
applications are replaced with messaging calls that communicate with the new
thin-client code through an intermediate layer called the Jacada server.  A
messaging architecture is substituted for the 5250 datastream, with message
packets that contain full information about the data being exchanged with the
user.  The Jacada server doesn't have to parse the 5250 datastream to 'guess'
which screen is being displayed, because panel identifications are part of the
message architecture. As part of the conversion process, the DDS source code is
processed and stored in the Jacada knowledge base.  The programmer then uses a
GUI interface to decide how the panels should look in the new applications.

>> If it's the later, how much is automated and how much is manual effort?

The conversion from the interactive applications to batch is completely
automated -- Jacada does recommend that all applications be completely retested
after the conversion, with a statement that at least 95% of the conversion will
have been done correctly. I don't think much fix up is needed on the RPG side,
and in general, the converted programs end up being just as maintainable as the
original programs were. Most of the manual effort will be involved in
determining how the new user interfaces should look and feel, unless you're
satisfied with just having web delivery of screens that look/feel just like they
did before. The actual amount of effort will depend on how much variety there is
in your DDS panels -- if they adhere to fairly clear and consistent standards,
it will be relatively easy to build a new standardized look and feel that fits
naturally into web delivery. If every DDS panel is unique, then the conversion
will take MUCH longer.

Janet Krueger
Andrews Consulting Group

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