PC-to-mainframe connectivity specialist Wall Data has begun shipping what it claims is the first connectivity package to offer access to multiple hosts via a Web browser interface.
The package, called Arpeggio Live Information Publishing Server, is designed to allow firms to publish information directly from IBM AS/400 and mainframe systems. It also allows the publishing of data stored on ODBC-compliant databases.
Using Arpeggio, users can access information on a client machine from any Web browser that supports frames. No other specific software is required, so the client could even be a network computer.
Kevin Vitale, executive vice president of Wall Data, claimed: "Arpeggio Live is the only product on the market that gives organisations a complete and cost-effective solution for unlocking their information resources and publishing them to business users."
Arpeggio runs as an application under Windows NT 4.0 server with a token ring connection and 3270 terminal emulation. It also requires a Web server that supports Microsoft or Netscape APIs (application programming interfaces), or the Common Gateway Interface (CGI).
Information is converted from mainframe or AS/400 database formats into HTML using pre-defined templates. These templates are written in HTML, so administrators can customise them in order to change the appearance of the data.
Within Arpeggio, the administrator is able to set up views of the data or mainframe applications and decide which users can have access to particular bits of information. Over the Web or corporate intranet, users are presented with a login screen and access the mainframe or AS/400 application via a green-screen terminal view within their Web browser.
Administrators can also set up pre-defined reports which are presented over the corporate Web as HTML tables. In addition, Wall Data offers an ActiveX report viewer which gives more extensive presentation features than plain HTML.
Arpeggio Live costs #1,195 for a server license with 15 concurrent users.
ARPEGGIO: CLOSE-UP LOOK
PC Week Labs eveluates Arpeggio Live
- Excellent Web-based administration
- Extensive online help for users
- Flexible client-side data presentation
- Web templates for terminal-based applications
- Wide selection of host and ODBC drivers
- No support for data drill-down, charting or pivot tables in report designer
- On-screen keyboard and mouse required to enter special keystrokes in terminal sessions - Terminal fonts do not resize with screen window.
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