Ethernet Terminal Offers Native TN5250e Support

Decision Data, a division of NLynx Systems, is looking to put a charge into the host terminal market with the announcement of its OmniTerm/e Ethernet terminal. Designed to combine the simplicity of traditional terminals with the versatility of today's thin client desktops, the OmniTerm/e represents the first new product release from Decision Data since NLynx (Austin, Texas) completed its acquisition of the company in April of this year.

In addition to preserving the simplicity of the desktop terminal architecture and offering a 122-key keyboard, the OmniTerm/e features: industry-standard 10/100 MB Ethernet connection; local or server-based configuration without the need for a boot server; support for TN5250e/3270e, TN5250/3270 and TNVT; an e-mail client; a MediaGX multimedia processor; USB and mouse ports; and two serial ports.

With the release of OmniTerm/e Decision Data is targeting shops that currently have AS/400 terminals and want to be able to switch wiring structures, eliminating the need to wire for networks and wire for an AS/400 terminal, according to Bob Janiak, product marketing manager for Decision Data/NLynx's terminal product line.

"NLynx sought to preserve all that is good about terminals and move those features to Ethernet," Janiak says, emphasizing that the OmniTerm/e was not designed with this initial release as a replacement for PCs. "We are very specifically aimed at the AS/400 terminal for this August shipment. We've found that customers are tired of going into the wiring closet and having two sets of cables, and having hubs for Twinax--yes, it's twisted pair, but it is a different hub then their Ethernet hub. Why not get rid of that onerous requirement? When you go to a wide area network, it gets much worse--you get into needing a controller."

Janiak points out that, with the OmniTerm/e, terminal users will experience an immediate improvement over existing SNA terminals thanks to support for multiple sessions, multiple hosts, WAN access and e-mail.

"The driving force behind this project is the user who needs to buy several hundred terminals at once," Janiak adds. "Purchase of the OmniTerm/e allows for growth. In the foreseeable future, Twinax/Coax terminals will survive, but Ethernet terminals will be necessary to enable many of the functions that PC users enjoy today."

--L. Greenemeier