NetManage Goes Code-Free with OnWeb 5.2

Monday, host-access and host-management providerNetManage released the 5.2 version of its OnWeb offering with severalenhancements it says make it easier to bring legacy applications and data tothe Web without writing any code.

With the new release, OnWeb now comes equipped with aplug-in for Microsoft’s FrontPage HTML editor, code-free VB scripting features,and new screen-filtering capabilities. OnWeb 5.2 also gives developers theability to both publish and integrate host-based solutions.

“OnWeb provides a single product for doing hostpublishing and host integration,” says David Burton, director of productmarketing for OnWeb. This marks a somewhat different approach than most otherWeb-to-host solutions currently on the market, which typically split publishingand integration among two or three different products.

OnWeb, the server-side equivalent of NetManage’spopular RUMBA desktop-emulation offering, was added to the Cupertino,Calif.-based company’s solution set in November of 1999, when NetManageacquired Wall Data, another Web-to-host firm. Burton says OnWeb, which has beenin existence under several different brand names for about five years, is nowbetter positioned to deploy legacy solutions to the Web without coding. “Withprevious versions, there was some code that needed to be written,” says Burton.

According to Burton, with the plug-in for FrontPage,developers can now bring any captured host screens into FrontPage and renderthem as HTML, XML, WML, COM, or JavaBeans. Furthermore, he says OnWeb can alsoautomatically generate VB scripting through its Navigator set of tools.

Michel Lefebvre, senior product manager for OnWeb, says5.2 also works with other leading Web editors, such as DreamWeaver. However, hesays FrontPage is the only editor developers can use to render every hostscreen without writing code.

Code-free emulation is an important achievement in theWeb-to-host market, as technologies in this area are evaluated by customersbased primarily on ease of use. A recent report by IT analyst firm Gartner,titled Application Development in Transition, says the market forlegacy-emulation solutions has grown to be powerful because the offerings inthis space provide companies a “quick and dirty” way to bring their legacyinvestments to the Web. And while Gartner does not believe such offeringsshould be part of a long-term Web strategy, it feels legacy-emulationtechnologies will continue to be a prominent part of a developer’s toolkitbecause of the convenience they offer. 

With 5.2, NetManage has also given OnWeb features forfiltering screens. So, developers can pick and choose elements from multiplehost screens and combine them into a single Web interface. Or, they can skipscreens, as well. Filtering gives developers more flexibility to build Webinterfaces that are easy to navigate.

OnWeb 5.2 supports any 3270 or 5250 legacy system, andcan connect to any ODBC-compliant data source. Matt Migliore