HostBridge Technology


Web Interfaces Replace 3270 Terminal Emulation

Web-Enable CICS & IMS to Lower Costs, Modernize Mainframe Access

Terminal emulation is a limiting technology. It sustains an outdated user interface, increases IT costs, and often hinders organizations from adopting more advanced web interface solutions for System z. Organizations can address these problems by replacing 3270 or 5250 terminal emulators with a modern mainframe web-enablement solution.

Even when customized with basic web/Windows functionality like mouse-click interaction, terminal emulation remains a text-based interface to unfamiliar applications. As such, it serves highly skilled power users only. If the terminal emulator is an organization’s only access solution, it effectively blocks access for other employees, partners, and customers.

The High Costs of Terminal Emulation

A typical PC-based terminal emulation product can cost $16 per seat. In a call center employing 2,800 personnel, license fees amount to $44,800.

Because it delivers an unfamiliar screen, training is necessary. If training takes two weeks and the call center has a 10% annual employee turnover, training costs can total $322,840 per year. (Training a Customer Service Reps earning $30,000 costs slightly more than $1,153 per employee. Multiply by 280 employees for a total of $322,840. )

In addition, IT costs for installation, maintenance, and support of 2,800 desktops can reach $50,000 per year, bringing the total annual expenditure for terminal emulation to more than $370,000. For organizations with 10,000 or more users, costs can easily exceed $1.25 million.

New Interfaces Extend the Mainframe to New Users

If an organization has not thought beyond terminal emulation, they are missing opportunities to provide high-value mainframe access to many employees, partners, and customers, perhaps numbering in the millions. Web interfaces have come a long way, and they now represent opportunities to re-engineer the way organizations do business, especially with partners and customers.

Web interface solutions now deliver rich web interfaces and high levels of integration automation, effectively re-creating mainframe applications as streamlined, intuitive web apps, modernized for entirely new groups of people.

Strategy for Replacement and Modernization

HostBridge WIRE offers a clear path to terminal emulation replacement and modernized web access in a server-based web interface solution. WIRE offers three presentation modes – Classic Mode for power users; Standard Mode, featuring higher levels of customization and web functionality for less experienced users; and Enhanced Mode, offering the ability to develop brand new web apps based on CICS, IMS, System z, and System i resources – as well as any other enterprise data or any object-oriented data from web or cloud. Enhanced Mode interfaces can include all of the Web 2.0 functionality that today’s users know and expect .

Both Classic and Standard Modes offer affordable alternatives to terminal emulation products. And they are often used to ensure uninterrupted mainframe access and employee productivity while organizations build new interfaces to achieve greater business benefits with WIRE’s Enhanced Mode.

Enhanced Mode delivers rich web interfaces for today’s most sophisticated web user. In Enhanced Mode, WIRE also integrates data from virtually any enterprise data source – XML, Web services, or JavaScript generated by mainframe-resident HostBridge, or TN3270 and TN5250 data streams. It also leverages .NET’s object-oriented capabilities to enable integration of data from any distributed enterprise resource or any cloud or web feed. With these capabilities, organizations create entirely new web-based composite applications with the most advanced interactive functionality to meet any and every user need.

For more information on WIRE or use cases of WIRE in action, visit the WIRE product pages and download the latest WIRE white paper using the callout box above on this page.