Glink for Windows R8.0 Enterprise Edition is available

This release of Glink Enterprise Edition corresponds to R8.0 of Glink Professional Edition, including all the significant new functionality and features that are described in the release announcement for the Professional Edition.

Features of the Enterprise Edition:

  • Licensed by concurrent session, rather than by workstation.
  • Supports centralized administration of Glink updates
  • Supports centralized administration of configurations
  • Includes GlinkWeb, for mainframe access from a browser

This release features:

  • A graphical facelifting tool for GlinkWeb
  • A Roll-out wizard for building customized delivery packages

Enterprise Edition in brief

The Enterprise Edition is licensed by concurrent session, rather than by workstation. This means that if your organization has very many users who use the mainframe applications infrequently, you can make significant savings in licensing costs as compared to licensing each workstation.

The Enterprise Edition is a fully functional Glink; users run Glink on their workstation, but under control of a web server. The users start it the first time by clicking a link on a web page, and it installs itself automatically. This greatly reduces the time and effort involved in distributing the emulator throughout your organization.

Thereafter, each time Glink is started it checks its version against the latest version on the web server, and automatically updates itself as necessary. Your administrators repeat their savings in time and effort each time they make an update available, and they can be absolutely sure that all the users are using the latest update.

All Glink configuration and script files are installed and maintained by an adminstrator on the web server, and automatically downloaded as needed by Glink. You centralize your configuration and script administration, and eliminate user configuration errors. Your updates are distributed and deployed completely automatically.

The Enterprise Edition includes GlinkWeb; this is a web-compatible front-end to Glink that runs on the web server and can be used by anyone with an industry standard browser on their desktop, to reach mainframe applications. You can offer access to your systems to your whole organization, your trading partners and even your customers, without installing software on their desktop.

GlinkWeb offers simple and efficient facelifting features, so you can improve the look and feel of your applications for your browser users. Even better, because the facelifting is based on automatically generated Active Server Pages (ASPs), you can move seamlessly into development of middleware using state of the art tools to modify the ASPs. You can combine mainframe screens from one or more applications, drawing on the power of your core business applications to produce exciting new functionality for browser users.

Release 8.0 in brief

This release of Glink Enterprise Edition includes the GlinkWeb Forms Assistant, to assist you in building ASPs (Active Server Pages) to facelift your mainframe application screens for viewing from a browser. You use a graphical interface to step through and identify your mainframe screens. The Forms Assistant generates an ASP for each screen, giving you a perfect foundation for customization. You simply modify the ASPs by inserting your own Visual Basic scripts to give the applications a completely new look and feel for your browser users.

The Glink Roll-out Wizard can be used to customize the deliveries made by the Enterprise Edition to users. You can design your own delivery packages, customized for your user groups. You can decide the content of the program groups to be installed, the icons in the groups, and preconfigure the connections the users need to make. The wizard guides you through the process, including adding a digital signature to the completed installation package if you want security. Your customized delivery package becomes a single, absolutely secure program file that your users simply execute to become operative.

Release 8.0 in detail

The GlinkWeb Forms Assistant

GlinkWeb automatically converts mainframe application screens to HTML on-the-fly, so that your users can access the applications from a browser. The conversion automatically facelifts the screens to some degree, but you can gain considerable extra functionality for your browser users by investing in some custom facelifting.

You use the graphical interface of the GlinkWeb Forms Assistant to step through your mainframe application identifying the screens. The Forms Assistant generates an Active Server Page (ASP) for each screen you identify, and the ASP is then responsible for handling that particular screen. The default ASP simply converts the screen to HTML with standard facelifting. You use each ASP as the basis for your own customization. You customize using Visual Basic script (VBscript) or any other ASP programming language in the Integrated Development (IDE) environment of your choice. The fields that your code needs to access in the mainframe screen can be referred to by logical name, you simply use the GlinkWeb Forms Assistant to identify each field you need and assign it a name. This function of the Forms Assistant can be used off-line.

This release has initial support for the .NET environment and use of ASPX pages. The .NET environment will be focused in updates to this release.

The Roll-out wizard

When you have installed the Enterprise Edition you can manage the users in two ways:

  • You can deliver a package that installs Glink on their workstation, with a configuration that points to the license server, but which is otherwise independent. The package can be delivered in any way that is convenient to you.
  • You can make a package available on a web server that installs a web controlled version of Glink. This centralizes the delivery and maintenance of both Glink updates, and of configurations and script files.

In either case you can save huge amounts of effort by using the Glink Roll-out wizard to construct the package. The wizard comes with two templates:

  • A workstation installation template, which is very similar to the template used for Glink Professional Edition packages, except that the Enterprise edition package references a license server rather than needing a workstation license.
  • A web-controlled workstation template, which installs a Glink that will refer back to the web server each time it is started, in order to update itself automatically as needed, and which also refers to the web server for Glink configurations and script files. This mode of operation centralizes all administration of Glink.

As for the professional Edition, you can design the delivery to suite your user groups, and put the connections behind icons that are installed automically. The icons for web-controlled Glink would refer to Glink startup files on the web server.

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