Host Links and Gweb 6.0 is available

This new release includes enhancements to Gweb Professional Edition and Gproxy Professional Edition. Gweb Professional Edition is further enhanced by the load balancing and license sharing support implemented in Gproxy Professional Edition.

Host Links and Gweb Professional Edition, Release 6.0 is now available. Your local distributor can download it for installation on production sites.

IMPORTANT: the format of the license file has changed

You will need a new license in order to upgrade to Host Links 6.0. Your new license must conform to the new pricing and conditions for the R6.0 Host Links product set (see below). Consult your distributor for further details.

The most important new features of the release
  • Enhancements to Gweb Professional Edition, making it even more attractive and simple to use for web-enabling legacy applications.
  • Gweb Professional Edition is further enhanced by the load
    balancing and license sharing support implemented in Gproxy
    Professional Edition.

Gproxy Professional Edition is now a very important product for users with multiple Ggate Professional Edition or Gweb professional Edition servers, both because it balances the load across the currently available servers, and because it allows currently available servers to share the licenses allocated to any server that is down.

Discontinued products
  • Ggate is replaced by Ggate Professional Edition
  • GgatePlus is replaced by GgatePlus Professional Edition
  • Gweb Standard Edition is replaced by Gweb Professional Edition
  • Gproxy is replaced by Gproxy Professional Edition
  • Gsocket is discontinued
  • Boldon James OSI stack is discontinued
  • Basic is discontinued as a product
    (but is still delivered with all other products)

Customers installing R6.0 must upgrade to the new products.

Discontinued licenses
  • Single system and LAN licenses discontinued

For all products that are sold by session, user or workstation the Single System and LAN licenses are discontinued. Corporate licenses only are available, and customers following the upgrade
path must move to corporate licenses. Products involved include the GUFT client, GlAPI-run-time, Ggate, Pthru, Qsim, V78sim and G3270.

Corporate licensing by concurrent session only

All R6.0 corporate server licenses will now be by concurrent session. All servers will count the sessions. Each server license must have a session limit. The corporate license is for
the sum of the session limits on the individual servers, and discounted by the total number. The corporate license is a discount mechanism only, unless Gproxy Professional Edition is installed to enable license sharing.

New license file

The format of the license file has changed in this release, partly due to new functionality (see the chapter on Gproxy below). All installations need an updated license file; the old file, if any, will no longer work.

The most important Gweb enhancements
  • Gweb JavaScripts adds 'terminal' behaviour to browsers
  • Gweb allows external script processing of browser input
  • Gweb provides new printing mechanism
  • Gweb provides more macros and give access to fields and screen content of previous forms
  • Gweb accepts user-defined parameters at any time
  • Gweb HTTP server supports CGI and SSI

The most important Host Links enhancements
  • Gproxy makes Gweb servers even more available when balancing the load between multiple Gweb servers
  • Gproxy transfers licenses assigned to unavailable Host Links or Gweb servers to other servers
  • Gproxy includes the Gweb HTTP server
  • Gconfig provides GUI interface to DSA configuration

The equivalent release of Gmail is also available for compatibility. There have been no functional changes to Gmail since R5.3, only error corrections, but it is preferable if users with Gmail who need Host Links 6.0.0 update their Gmail too. If you have special reasons for not doing so, you should
check with us.

Highlights from the SRB

GWEB enhancements

Input scripts 
Gweb 5.3 introduced the possibility of using an externally defined script or program to process host screens when they are received from the host. With Gweb version 6.0 you can also use an externally defined script or program to process input data from the browser before the data is sent to the host. The input script or program can also choose NOT to send data to the host but instead return HTML code to the browser.

Both Input and Output scripts can now deliver HTML data and mark it to be parsed by the internal Gweb #macro# interpreter.

User-defined parameters 
Up to 50 parameters can be defined by the user. The value of these parameters can be set in the gweb.cfg configuration file or dynamically at session start-up. The parameters are available
for use directly within Gweb macros and from external scripts, and they can be dynamically altered during execution.

Dynamic screen size 
Gweb can now use any screen size supported by the emulator. Currently, only the VIP7800 emulator supports a screen size differing from the standard (24 lines by 80 columns).

New printing mechanism 
Print output can be sent to the browser encoded in different ways. Gweb is delivered with setup files that sends the output directly to your printer using either a JavaScript or a Visual Basic method.

The new macro #print ...# is used to generate print output. The macro supports encoding of print output in various ways, e.g. plain text and HTML.

If the host session is disconnected while print data is still available, the emulator will stay in memory so that the print data can be viewed from the browser.

JavaScript functions 
Numerous JavaScript functions have been added. These functions provide terminal-like functionality to the browser display of the form. They include the following functions: Auto tabbing, Overwrite mode, Enter key = transmit, Field validation (Numeric only, etc), Cursor Up/Down tabs between fields, Home key, various clear (field/end of screen/all) functions, and function key mapping. The keyboard can easily be reprogrammed by the administrator, and a utility HTML page is delivered that helps the administrator do that.

Refresh-, Clear- and PA-buttons 
The new Refresh button will update the browser screen from the current emulator screen without sending any data to the host. The Refresh function can also be invoked by the new CPIC keykode

The new Clear button will erase all data from variable fields, using a standard HTML form function.

For IBM 3270 emulation, the buttons PA1, PA2 and PA3 are now available.

Disconnect macro 
You can define a string of CPIC coded characters that will be sent to the host when the session is about to be automatically terminated. This is useful if you need to send some kind of a "logoff" sequence.

CGI program support 
The GwebS server now supports it's own CGI programs. By de-fault, the GwebS configuration file is set up in a way that automatically enables the Gproxy content-pushing CGI program named "nph-push" for delivering dynamic Gproxy HTML data.

SSI support 
GwebS now supports a very simple subset of Server-Side Include commands.

Set parameters on the fly from the index.cfg file 
All parameters configurable in the gweb.cfg configuration file can also be set dynamically from the index.cfg file. This can be useful if you need to redefine timeout values for some specific host screens.

New HTML presentation method 
Gweb 5.3 used the "preformatted text" (the <PRE> and </PRE> tags) HTML technique to present host data on the browser screen. Although easy and in most cases good enough, this presented
problems where exact alignment of data was desired. The <PRE> technique fails here because the 3D-effect that browsers apply to variable fields causes the width of these fields to be slightly adjusted, causing a misalignment. With Gweb 6.0, the default presentation mode uses the HTML <TABLE>, technique, where there is more control over the alignment of data. The 5.3 presentation method is still available by adding the Gweb parameter "-pm 0".

Load-balancing support 
Using G&R/Gproxy, Gweb sessions can be load balanced between multiple Gweb servers. Gproxy knows the Gweb servers that are available, and their load. This allows Gproxy to redirect the browsers (transparently to the user) to the running Gweb server with the least load at connect time. This assures high availability and maximum throughput.

Form stack 
Gweb can be configured to memorize the last <N> host screens. Any data from any of these memorized screens is available in Gweb macros, for example allowing you to pick up the fourth field from the host screen identified by the name "logon".

Gweb macro language changes in detail

Nested #if# 
#if#, #ifnull#, #ifnnull# macro statements and the corresponding #else# can now be nested to a maximum depth of 30.

Substring patterns in #if# statements 
The #if# macro can now check for the occurrence of a substring within a string. 
Example: #if "Gweb" in screen(1,1,49)# <P>Gweb!</P> #endif#

Added the #scratr ...# and #html color [...]# macros 
The new macro #scratr# returns the screen attributes of the given screen location. The screen attributes are returned as a string containing one or more of the letters R, G, B, L, F, U, I and/or H (Red, Green, Blue, Low intensity, Flashing/ blinking, Underline, Inverse and/or Hidden/invisible).

The #html color ...# attribute outputs the necessary HTML code to change the color (and other screen attributes) for the given screen location.

Added the #gweb(formname)# and #gweb(formnumber)# macros 
The name and sequential number of screen forms are now available to the facelifter. The #gweb(formname)# macro is guaranteed to return a Null string if the current Gweb session is not facelifted at all (no index.cfg), otherwise it returns either the name of the form (as defined in the index.cfg file) or the word "default" if the session is facelifted (index.cfg exists), but the current form is not (no pattern matches).

Gweb minor changes in detail

"init:" macro for host comms 
Normally, when Gweb sends data to the host, it starts with the current field, updates the data if it has changed, tabs to the next field and so on, then adds the Transmit function at the end. In special circumstances, you might want to send some special codes to the host before starting with the variable data. The "init:" macro lets you do this.

Pattern matching can check for cursor position and for presence of a variable field 
The pattern matching syntax in the index.cfg configuration file now supports a method of determining if the cursor is within an area of the screen. You can also check for the presence of a variable field inside a given range.

Extended functionality for automatically created input fields 
In some circumstances the hosts do not create any variable fields, relying on the terminals 'unformatted' (command mode) functionality to allow input of data. In such cases, Gweb creates an input field for the browser. The new option -afl lets you supply a padding character and also invokes a set of rules to make that input field exactly as long as necessary.

Unmodified form fields skipped when delivering data to the emulation 
Gweb 5.3 delivered all fields with data to the emulation engine, even if the content of the field was unmodified. In Gweb 6.0 the content of an unmodified field is not delivered to the emulation engine (the field is simply skipped with a Tab character) to avoid field checking on unmodified fields.

The session can be disconnected with a CPIC keycode 
A new CPIC keycode, "@Q", causes the current session to be disconnected. The keycode can be sent either as a Gweb macro, as an automatic reply defined in the index.cfg or from an external script.

Extended set of parameters that can be unlocked 
The -RES and -LU line parameters are added to the set of parameters that can be specified by HTML at session start-up time.

Allow additional response header lines 
The new gweb.cfg parameter "-httpresp XXX" lets you add additional HTTP Response Header lines to the responses.

GPROXY Professional Edition extensions

Gproxy Professional Edition license server 
Gproxy Professional Edition can be setup to operate as a license server for Host Links server programs. When using Gproxy as a license server on multiple Host Links systems, each Gproxy will inform the other Gproxy license servers about the license keys it maintains. Combining this information with the new 'Site' license information in the new 'licenses' file, Gproxy is able to take over temporarily licenses normally handled by a Host Links system that has crashed or been shutdown for maintenance purposes. The other Gproxy license servers will detect the absence of a Gproxy license server and automatically take over the failing system's licenses. Whenever the failing system comes back on line, the license server that took over will automatically restore its original license count and resume normal processing. In a configuration with multiple active license servers, the license server that takes over is the one running on the system with the lowest numerical IP address.

Gproxy PE Gweb-server-specific load-balancing 
Gproxy Professional Edition can now load balance G&R/Gweb servers in the same way that it balances the load between G&R/Ggate servers. The new functionality is enabled by a new Gproxy command line parameter (-gwebs portno) which tells Gproxy which IP port number it should listen to in order to catch the incoming HTTP connections from the Gweb clients (i.e. browsers).

Gproxy maintains Gweb server load tables which are based upon the statistical information that is sent out periodically by the Gweb servers (enabled by the Gwebs -na ipaddr[1-4] or -nb parameter). The broadcasted information includes current and total number of sessions, HTML requests, number of files, number of bytes etc etc.

When a connection comes in from a Gweb browser, Gproxy will redirect the browser to the Gweb server having the lightest load. The HTTP redirection process is completely transparent to the Gweb user.

Gproxy can use the GWEB server 
The GWEB server now supports 'Server Side Includes' which is used by the Gproxy HTML report logic in order to push the network events as they occur into a browser. This means that it is no longer necessary to install a separat web server on the Host Links system in order to be able to offer the Gproxy generated HTML reports.

Gconfig extensions

DSA configurator 
Gconfig now offers the administrator the possibility to maintain the local DSA network (i.e. the DSA.CFG file) using a new set of Windows GUI 'property-sheet' menus. The menu interface significantly simplifies the administrative task of maintaining the DSA network configuration - in particular for administrators with limited knowledge of DSA terminology and configuration file syntax. There is a separat menu sheet for each of the main DSA directives and help is available. Once the configuration changes have been completed, the configuration file can be saved and optionally loaded into the text editor of choice (i.e. as set by the 'wintextedit' directive in the Host Links profile). The configuration compiler (GLCC) can be activated from within Gconfig.

Updated parameters for all servers Gconfig is updated to support all new server parameters introduced in this release.

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