Using Thin Client Technology with AcuConnect

If you want to enjoy the benefits of centralized application maintenance and the performance characteristics of a thin architecture, then you can use Micro Focus's Thin Client technology with AcuConnect®. In a thin client environment, ACUCOBOL-GT programs running on a UNIX, Linux, or Windows NT/2000/2003 server can present a graphical interface on a Windows display host that is running AcuBench. UNIX and Linux users can enjoy the stability and security of their multi-user environments and the graphical nature of Microsoft Windows.

Micro Focus’s thin client technology supports the following server platforms: UNIX, Linux, VMS v7.2 or later, HP e3000, Windows NT Server, Windows 2000 Server, and Windows 2003 Server. The following client platforms are supported: Windows XP, Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows Vista.

Thin client operations allow great flexibility in your development environment. For example, assume your source code is stored on a UNIX or Linux application host and protected by a version control system. You check needed files out to a Windows display host running the workbench and edit your source using Code Editor functions. Source is compiled in the workbench and object code is directed to the remote server. Remote debugging capabilities let you test your application, which is displayed on the Windows client while it is running on the UNIX or Linux server. When you finish your work, you check your source files back in to the server.

You use the Build > Use Thin Client menu command to signal the workbench that you want to use thin client functions. Before you compile for thin client, you need to set additional project properties, project settings, and runtime options, and create an alias that contains your thin client command line. You can create object files or libraries in a remote server directory and maintain a UNIX runtime configuration file. Debug your application with the AcuBench integrated debugger or the ACUCOBOL-GT runtime debugger. The commands you now use to develop your project locally (including Compile, Build, Execute, and Debug) help you develop your project in a thin client environment. For information about setting up a remote project, see Working with Projects.

If your program is already a graphical application, you have a little conversion work to perform for thin client operations. If your application is character-based, then you have some development options:

  1. Maintain your character-based application on a UNIX or Linux host.
  2. Migrate your character-based application to graphical.
  3. Develop a new graphical user interface for your UNIX or Linux server-based application.

If you want to maintain your character-based application, you can work with it as is in the workbench with thin client. Note that some display limitations may apply when you choose to maintain your character interface. Certain functions may not appear as expected, and other unsupported functions may not display at all. You may decide to alter your code to work around any unacceptable behavior. Limitations are described in Limitations in Thin Client Environments.

If you decide to migrate your character-based program to graphical, Micro Focus's thin client solution can play an important role. Start with the ACUCOBOL-GT Character-to-GUI Wizard, which can convert your character screens to graphical whether or not your program uses a Screen section. Add other screens to your application using the Screen Designer. Include ActiveX controls in your interface as well as ACUCOBOL-GT's standard controls. For information about the Character-to-GUI Wizard, see Bringing Existing Code Into AcuBench. For more information about ACUCOBOL-GT's thin client technology, refer to the AcuConnect User's Guide.

If you choose to change the look of your interface completely, you can develop a new graphical interface for your application from scratch. The AcuBench graphical Screen Designer provides access to a wide range of graphical technology, including standard and ActiveX controls. The Screen Designer's interface and functions are described in Configuring the Screen Designer, Working with Screens, and Controls, Menus, and Toolbars.