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March 20, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:19pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Host systems to desktop communications company Wall Data Inc reckons it has the easiest answer yet to getting legacy applications and data onto the Web with the launch of its Arpeggio Live! information publishing server software. Arpeggio Live! runs on a Windows NT server and takes legacy applications from an IBM Corp mainframe or AS/400 system, and dynamically converts the front end into HTML for instant access from any Web browser. It also enables access to data in any ODBC Open Database Connectivity-compliant database via its Information Organizer, a repository that enables users to perform queries on relational databases and publish reports over the Web. No changes need to be made to the legacy application, says the company. Customers can, for example, enter orders from the Web directly onto a mainframe order system. Wall Data also provides a toolkit to enable developers to customize the user interface. Documentation is available for developers to create their own extensions to the software. Arpeggio Live! runs only on an NT server, is written in Visual C++ and based around Microsoft Corp’s ActiveX Common Object Model. It uses Java applets to enable the state of a user screen to be retained – data input on a screen is not lost when the user switches to another screen within the browser – and has an automatic screen refresh call that updates the data on the browser screen as soon as the host screen has been updated. Being server-based, it downloads only data to the client, meaning it can be used with the thin client, network computer model. Wall Data says companies beta testing the product are also interested in using it to extend access to legacy systems throughout the organization, without deploying terminal emulation software on every desktop computer. The company insists, however, that this will not affect sales of its own terminal emulation product, Rhumba. The Arpeggio software also includes administrator and remote support functions. The product is shipping now in the US, next week in the UK. The starter kit, including IBM mainframe, AS/400 and ODBC extensions and five concurrent users for each costs $1,200. A Unix application version is somewhere in the pipeline, the company says.

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