I currently use Mochasoft, Synapse and PSI emulators to test against a "real"
terminal when I write software.

I have never used CAE.  (I'm still in recovery from PC support ;-} we meet on
the third Thursday)

Here is what I have found:

1) For straight 5250 emulation, the current version from Mochasoft, IMO, is the
best bang for buck you're going to find.  The down side is that I'm not all that
thrilled about the font choices.  It just looks too, I don't know what word to
choose ... ASCII?  It is very true to the 5250 data stream and does perform like
a "real" terminal.

2) PSI (Productivity Systems, Inc.) has a TCP/IP version of a 3164 emulator that
I used to dial in to clients ASCII ports for support.  This also works well and
if appearance is important to you it may be worth the extra $150 per seat.  I
never could get there printer session to operate properly under TCP/IP.  I
haven't tried recently.  I do like their 132x27 display.  It's very readable on
a 17" monitor.  (I really miss my 3180)

3) Synapse, IMO, has the best printer session emulation of the three that I
use.  Well, Mochasoft relies on pure LPD/LPR and PSI always spit out five pages
of control codes before the report would start, but I digress.  The Synapse IP
client is a solid product and generally looks good.  That reminds me of a film
clip that I have of Bill Gates at one of his developer conferences stating: "If
you can't make it good, make it look good."  Well the folks at Synapse have
tried to GUI TN5250 which means that their product is the farthest from a true
5250 representation under certain circumstances.  I work in a mixed world
("real" terminals and emulators at the same site) and I need something that
looks the same everywhere.  This is not it.  It's a small thing, but for
example:  I have a popup window with a white border, black background, green
text.  The window title is in the border.  Black letters against a white
background.  With Synapse it has no border, a dark blue title bar where you
can't read the black print, gray background and lime green text.  Also the hex
codes for showing a red progress bar don't work.  Great printer session though.
I wish I could buy it separately.

If I were you, I would download the trial versions of every product recommended
and install them on a single machine.  Then have a few folks that will have to
live with it, day in and day out, use them, in turn, for a day or two each and
get their feedback.

You may discover that the only thing that really matters is that it works.
After that, shop price.


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