I got a bit lost at what you were explaining.  Could you try again for me

Adam Lang
Systems Engineer
Rutgers Casualty Insurance Company
----- Original Message -----
From: "Brad Jensen" <brad@elstore.com>
To: <midrange-l@midrange.com>
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2002 1:54 PM
Subject: PC terminal server for 5250

> This may be a crazy idea. I've mentioned it in part before.
> I had my programmers create a TN3270 full screen terminal
> interface for our archiving product, which is about to enter
> beta. They also created a TN5250 full screen interface (we were
> using a custom
> TCP/IP client on the AS/400).
> With a little more programming, we could
> - create a general purpose terminal server on a PC
> - create a menu system in that server for calling VB6 client
> programs (or other programs that will create activex dlls)
> - create terminal reading and writing routines for those DLLS to
> call
> And what you would get is
> A programmer could write a single-instance VB6 program, that
> would talk to one screen and accept input and write output to
> it.  The server would call the program selected by the person at
> the 5250 or 3270 terminal from a menu. It would create one
> instance of the program for each person using it, so the
> programming remains simple.
> Actually the way VB works, is that one copy of the program
> exists in memory as long as any session is using it, and a new
> data area exists for each user. We did 1000 simultaneous
> instances on a 100Mhz 64MB NT box. (It was a real old CPU).
> Think of it as Cytrix for character terminals.
> What could those VB programs do? Database entry and lookup,
> scheduling and calendaring. Email. Web surfing. Customer service
> into your web-centric database from 3270 terminals.
> And of course you could create a rapid application development
> system on top of the VB interface.
> It could get pretty crazy.
> How much more development do we need? Not very much. The hard
> part is done.
> I know menuing systems, I've written them (in COBOL). The screen
> handling is done, and we've written a number of TCP/IP server
> programs.
> We could also make the server program talk to 'standard' Telnet
> terminals, and even web browsers if that made sense to do.
> You could run the server program on an integrated netfinity
> server (or whatever they call it this month) and have the VB
> programs talk OLEDB or ODBC to the AS/400 database, if you want.
> Now you would be writing new programs for your AS/400 in VB 6,
> that support classic terminals.
> VB6 programmers are a lot easier to find than RPG programmers.
> So how crazy is this idea?

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