Ericom Readies Market For Windows CE

As Microsoft continues to build interest in the thin client market through advances in Windows CE, the AS/400 market is finding its own uses for the operating system, particularly in the area of mobile legacy application access.

"Companies are beginning to see [Windows CE’s] value, particularly companies with large amounts of information stored on legacy systems," says Eran Heyman, CEO and founder of the Jerusalem-based Ericom Software Ltd.

Ericom, which also has domestic offices in Hackensack, N.J., is taking advantage of Windows CE with its own PowerTerm CE product, designed to enable handheld PC users to connect to mission-critical applications running on a variety of hosts, including AS/400, Unix and DEC.

With the release of PowerTerm CE 2.1 for Windows CE 2.1, Ericom’s remote host access product keeps pace with Microsoft’s developing thin client access solution. "Windows CE has limitations in both keyboard size and resolutions, but PowerTerm CE provides the capability to re-map keys," Heyman says.

PowerTerm CE and Interconnect (CE’s predecessor) support device naming under AS/400 over TCP/IP, offering users the capability to specify known, user-defined device names for TN5250 display print sessions when working with direct TCP/IP, according to Heyman. "Device naming enables the user to assign names to display and print sessions," he says.

Heyman offers proof of PowerTerm CE’s relevance to the midrange market, saying that 20 percent of Ericom’s customers use PowerTerm CE and PowerTerm Interconnect products in AS/400 environments.

PowerTerm’s implementation of device naming allows users to work with TCP/IP only, without the need for an SNA server or router software. AS/400 users need only install IBM’s TCP/IP stack, according to Heyman, who adds, if they are using Windows 95 or NT, TCP/IP is already loaded.

PowerTerm CE is priced at $99 per license, and includes "all emulation types," Heyman says, adding that his company is at work to make available two other incarnations of PowerTerm, one for NCs and another for Windows Based Terminals. A PowerTerm Java product is scheduled for availability during the first quarter of 1999 and will enable host access to remote users from a Java-based thin client device.