Cybele Goes Mobile with 5250 Emulator
June 26, 2012 Alex Woodie
IBM i vendors have been hawking mobile wares for a very long time. It was a big thing even when IT Jungle staffers were still working at the now-defunct Midrange Computing and Midrange Technology SHOWCASE magazines, which was well over a decade ago (which is eternity in the computer business).
But we have come a long, long way from those bad old days of clunky Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and Wireless Markup Language (WML) user interfaces. Today’s smart devices are hundreds of times more powerful, and function so intuitively that even a two-year-old can make them work.
And while Angry Birds is an appropriate app for a toddler, business people demand access to business software through their iPhones, Android phones, Blackberrys, and the couple dozen Windows Phones that are in use. Unless the back-end RPG program has been modernized to function in today’s Web browsers, then users must access it through the green-screen 5250 interface.
Emulation sessions conducted using the new version of z/Scope Anywhere are protected with SSL over HTTP (HTTPS) or SSH encryption, providing the security that business users demand when working remotely on critical System i, mainframe, and Unix hosts.
The software also supports the use of the WebSocket protocol, which can simplify firewall issues since it uses a standard port that is always open on firewalls. WebSocket is under consideration as a standard, and is supported on Safari, Firefox, IE, and Chrome browsers.
Additionally, z/Scope Anywhere acts as a gateway that isolates the host access from the public network, thus increasing security, Mariana Catani, Cybele’s business development manager, says via email.
z/Scope can support real and virtual keyboards, providing flexibility. It also supports the use of hotspots and the keypad. Users can have multiple sessions open simultaneously, and program macros to accomplish routine tasks more quickly.
z/Scope version 7 is scheduled to ship in about two months, Catani says. “We are working to enhance it with extra features and we look forward to receive feedback from our beta testers,” she says. In the meantime, Cybele welcomes users to try out the beta release of the product.
Cybele is already working on an update that will add more features, including support for languages besides just English; an FTP client; printer emulation; and a screen history function.
z/Scope itself runs on a Windows machine, which facilitates communication between the host and the client device. Just about any Windows machine will do, ranging from 32-bit Windows XP to the latest 64-bit Windows Server 2008 OS.
Cybele Software is based in Wilmington, Delaware. The company sells several editions of the z/Scope line, including Express 3270, Express 5250, Express VT, Classic, SDK, and Web-to-Host. It also sells several other remote access solutions, including ThinRDP, ThinVNC, ThinVNC Access Point, and TN Bridge.
Pricing for z/Scope Anywhere will begin at $69 per seat, or $92 per seat for concurrent users, with volume discounts available. For more information or to download the beta of z/Scope Anywhere version 7, see the vendor’s website at www.cybelesoft.com.