Hummingbird Updates J2EE Emulator

Better scalability

While many server-based terminal emulators require users to downloadJava clients to their local machines, Hummingbird Ltd. uses Java in adifferent, more lightweight way. It's e-Gateway 2.0 runs on a J2EEapplication to serve greenscreens in Dynamic HTML.

Hummingbird pitches e-Gateway 2.0 as a "zero-footprint" terminalemulation solution, contrasting it with local emulators or downloadableJava clients that eat up client resources. The Hummingbird emulator runson a Windows or Unix server with an industry-standard J2EE server suchas WebSphere or WebLogic. It feeds users' machines host screens inDHTML, sparing the resources of the local client.

Xavier Chaillot, senior product manager, connectivity solutions atHummingbird, says e-Gateway is a good solution for casual users oflegacy systems, giving them access, but obviating the need to installemulation software on their machines. Remote users can also benefit fromthe product, since it does not require downloading a bulky Java client,instead offering all process as DHTML buttons. "Its much more dynamicthan any static HTML," Chaillot says.

Enterprises concerned about the security of their legacy data can offerthe emulation as a secure HTTPS service, SSL, or tunnel through a VPN.e-Gateway 2.0 supports Triple-DES, DES, and RSA encryption schemes.

One of the criticisms of server-based emulation is a perceived lack ofscalability. "One of the major improvements in 2.0 is in itsscalability," Chaillot says. He says the new version more than doublesthe number of concurrent sessions it can support. In addition,Hummingbird added new load-balancing features in the new version.

Frequent emulation users often rely on macros to help them speed throughmainframe screens, and e-Gateway 2.0 allows macros to be imported andstored on the emulation server. Hummingbird also offers a macro editorwith about 15 different functions so users can use the product tocreate new macros.

e-Gateway 2.0 stores user profiles, giving the user access to his or herentitled applications, as well as access to stored macros. When a usersigns on, he or she has two profiles (one for a workgroup and one forthe individual user), each with its attendant set of macros andentitlements.

Other features enhance the usability of the product. The interfaceallows users to transfer files to the host system via an HTTP transfer.Users who experience nausea from staring at green-and-black can remapscreens to more palatable colors.

Lately, IBM Corp. has been pitching the mainframe as a consolidationplay, moving second-tier applications, such as the WebSphere applicationserver, onto the same machine as back-end applications. Chaillot saysrunning e-Gateway on the same mainframe as a host application is anideal scenario, but Hummingbird is still in the testing stage fore-Gateway on S/390 or zOS. He says Hummingbird wants the product to berock-solid before it comes to market.

About the Author

Chris McConnell is Product and Technology Editor for Enterprise Systems.