Single-Session ThinView Available From Touchtone

Touchtone Corp. (Costa Mesa, Calif.) is giving away a free one-session license of ThinView, a tool it has designed for opening a window into the AS/400 from Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer.

According to Reza Saraf, head of research and development at Touchtone (www.thinview.com), the Java-based ThinView produces ready-to-use applets within minutes, without any programming effort, while also hiding the complexities of Java, TCP/IP and thin-client distributed computing.

"ThinView is the only Java2-based product on the market that allows users to take advantage of the Internet topologies and technologies to serve the applications on-demand by using a web browser, without installing any code on individual PCs," Saraf says. "The ThinView applets can simply be downloaded automatically from a Web server. This allows us to remove the most expensive part of client/server applications -- maintaining, synchronizing and upgrading multiple licenses of software."

ThinView is designed to enable companies to use their corporate intranets or the Internet to supply their employees, representatives, dealers and clients with pricing information, inventory updates, order status and sales history 24x7.

The latest version of ThinView was released in late May, with prices starting at $1,995 per license. Two of the most prominent features included in this version are: support for 5250 terminal emulation, which enables users to access existing AS/400 native applications from any Web browser; and a file transfer feature that enables users to move objects between two AS/400s, or between an AS/400 and a PC.

Stephen Drake, senior research analyst at International Data Corp. (Framingham, Mass.) notes the explosive growth in the Web-to-host marketplace and expects it to reach $1 billion by 2002. "Leading traditional connectivity vendors have been successful in leveraging its large installed base of fat client host access customers to primarily sell intranet-based Web-to-host solutions," Drake says. "For Touchtone, or any other Web-to-host vendor to succeed going forward, it is critical to focus on the growing extranet and Internet deployments of Web-to-host technology."

Brian Whitney, technical analyst at System Tech Corp., works as a consultant for Dole Fresh Vegetables in Salinas, CA. Whitney has been using the ThinView product for more than four months to facilitate everyday activities, analyze data and perform troubleshooting.

"I simply double-clicked the HTML file I received, and it installed quickly and easily to my AS/400," Whitney says of ThinView. "I was pretty impressed with that. I have never installed an AS/400-related software product without actually being on the AS/400 … it was seamless. I appreciate the fact that you can write quick queries and get to the root of your problems with very little effort."