Rocket Rolls Out Update to BlueZone Emulator
Published: October 9, 2012
by Alex Woodie
Rocket Software last week delivered a new version of BlueZone, its terminal emulator for accessing host servers from IBM and others. BlueZone version 6.1 delivers new features such as a compatibility that allows users to run older versions alongside the new release. It also brings support for Windows 8, as well as new printer, file transfer, and Web deployment capabilities.
BlueZone is a family of terminal emulators designed to run on a variety of clients, including PCs, Web browsers, and mobile clients. The software supports 5250, 3270, T27, UTS, VT, ANSI, SCO-ANSI, WYSE 60, and HP terminal emulation protocols. It can run as either a 32-bit Windows application or as a Web-based application via a downloadable ActiveX control or Java applet. It also includes a Secure File Transfer Protocol (FTPS) client as part of the product.
With this release, desktop users can now run multiple versions of BlueZone on the same computer without running into compatibility problems. New deployments of BlueZone 6.1 will no longer automatically overwrite older versions. This may be useful for users who have put a lot of work into customizing their BlueZone environments. They may want to eventually duplicate those customizations in BlueZone 6.1, but in the meantime they need access to both systems to do their jobs.
Other user-focused enhancements include better keyboard mapping, a new master configuration and navigation pane, the introduction of spell check and a new scratch pad. BlueZone 6.1 also brings new themes and color schemes that look similar to Microsoft Office, as well as the capability to modify the color schemes of the toolbar and status bar.
BlueZone 6.1 has been certified to run on the early release candidates of Windows 8. The new Windows OS, which is due out this fall, features a new "Metro" GUI that looks and functions the same on all supported devices, including desktop PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Rocket is going along for the Windows 8 ride, and says BlueZone 6.1 leverages the "improved user experience and portability features" of Windows 8.
IBM i users will appreciate new features such as a new IBM i data/file transfer COM (Component Object Model) object. There is also a new IBM i TN52520E printer association feature. This release also supports printer associations to be made based on the profile name, Rocket says.
Mainframe users will benefit from support for IND$FILE, a file transfer program that works with 3270 emulators and mainframes. System administrators will benefit from new text-based configuration files, which will allow admins to easily find and edit entries manually or programmatically.
Rocket is also opening BlueZone to standard users by allowing them to download, install, and update the BlueZone Web to Host ActiveX control. This process no longer requires powerful users or administrators.
Rocket aggressively targets BlueZone for replacement of other terminal emulators. To that end, it posts its price list on its website. Single licenses start at $178, while 10-packs cost $1,660. For more info, see its website at bluezone.rocketsoftware.com.
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