Unibol400 for NT Bridges AS/400, NT Worlds

When it comes to providing Windows users with access to AS/400 applications, porting those applications to the Windows world is typically the last thing that most IT managers have in mind. But with the introduction of Unibol400 for NT from Unibol Ltd. (Marietta, Ga.), AS/400 managers now have the option to port their existing AS/400 applications over to Windows NT, or develop applications for both the AS/400 and Windows NT from a common source code.

As in the case of the base Unibol400 AS/400-to-Unix product, Unibol400 for NT leverages the GUI/400 and J Walk client technology developed by independent software developer Seagull Software (Alpharetta, Ga.). Seagull Software’s GUI/400 is a development technology that lets developers integrate AS/400 applications with client/server architectures and the Internet through Windows GUI clients, and JWalk provides a similar capability by allowing developers to integrate AS/400 applications with network computing architectures and the Internet through both Windows and Java GUI clients.

According to Pat Henry, president of Unibol, the combination of Seagull Software and Unibol technologies is a win-win for customers of both companies, as well as for the AS/400 community as a whole. "Because our tools eliminate the need to rewrite existing AS/400 code, they help our customers avoid the risks associated with new application development, and protect their investments in proven AS/400 applications," Henry says. "At the same time, they provide access to the latest technologies and help customers leverage new market opportunities."

Unibol400 for NT is an application development and execution environment that provides an essential duplication of the features and capabilities of the AS/400 on the Windows NT platform. Customers can deploy applications for both platforms from a single set of source code.

For existing applications, Unibol400 for NT lets enterprises reengineer their AS/400 applications to run on NT servers much more efficiently and less expensively than a comparable effort to rewrite them. Unibol400 for NT works by generating a native 5250 data stream that enables Seagull Software’s JWalk or GUI/400 Windows NT clients to run without modification.

According to Unibol managing director Ian Graham, Unibol400’s interoperability with Windows NT and Microsoft technologies extends significantly beyond support for mere file and print services and into compatibility with key Microsoft technologies such as the Component Object Model (COM).

"Even though Unibol400 for NT provides AS/400 applications unchanged on Windows NT, it is not simply an AS/400 clone on NT," Graham maintains. "The product offers AS/400 ISVs all the latest Microsoft technologies and is fully compatible with Microsoft’s COM infrastructure."