Hummingbird Updates J2EE-Based Emulator

e-Gateway 2.0 pitched as "zero-footprint" terminal emulation solution.

While many server-based terminal emulators require that users download Java clients to their local machines, Hummingbird Ltd. uses Java in a different, more lightweight way. Its e-Gateway 2.0 runs on a J2EE application to serve green screens in Dynamic HTML (DHTML).

Hummingbird pitches e-Gateway 2.0 as a "zero-footprint" terminal emulation solution, contrasting it with local emulators or downloadable Java clients that eat up client resources. The Hummingbird emulator runs on a Windows or Unix server with an industry-standard J2EE server (such as WebSphere or WebLogic). It feeds users' machines host screens in DHTML, sparing the resources of the local client.

Xavier Chaillot, senior product manager, connectivity solutions at Hummingbird, says e-Gateway is a good solution for casual users of legacy systems, giving them access but eliminating the need to install emulation software on their machines. Remote users can also benefit, because the product doesn't require downloading a bulky Java client. Instead, it offers all processes as DHTML buttons. "It's much more dynamic than any static HTML," Chaillot says.

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

Lack of scalability is a common criticism of server-based emulation, but Chaillot says that scalability is one of the major improvements in this release. The new version more than doubles the number of concurrent sessions it can support. In addition, Hummingbird added new load-balancing features and allows file transfers to the host system via HTTP.

e-Gateway 2.0 allows macros to be imported and stored on the emulation server. Hummingbird also offers a macro editor with about 15 different functions so users can use the product to create new macros.

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

Lately, IBM Corp. has been pitching the mainframe as a consolidation play, suggesting that enterprises move second-tier applications such as the WebSphere application server onto the same machine as back-end applications. Chaillot says running e-Gateway on the same mainframe as a host application is an ideal scenario, but Hummingbird is still in the testing stage for e-Gateway on S/390 or zOS. He says Hummingbird wants the product to be rock-solid before it comes to market.