Providing Thin Client Links on the Web

If you want to give users access to your application on the Web, one way to do this is to distribute the thin client software on your Web page (license agreement permitting), and provide a link to a command line file that launches your application. Users visit your page, download and install the thin client software, and click the command file link to run your program.

To provide this method of Web access, do the following:

  1. Install your COBOL application on your application server host. This machine must also contain the ACUCOBOL-GT runtime, AcuConnect, and several additional components. These are listed in the AcuConnect User's Guide. Note that your application does not need to reside on the same host as your Web Server.
  2. Create a thin client command line file that contains all the information needed by the ACUCOBOL-GT Thin Client to launch your application. The format of this file is described in Thin Client Command-Line Files.
  3. Place the command line file and, license agreement permitting, the self-extracting archive for the thin client on your Web server. The archive name is ' extend(R) Thin Client Version 10.2.1.exe'. Create links to these files from an appropriate Web page. See Using Anchor Tags for instructions on creating links.
  4. To ensure that your thin client will be recognized across a wide variety of browsers, configure your Web server to generate the HTTP Content-type response header field containing the MIME type application/vnd.acucorp.thincommandline for the extensions .atc and .acutc. This is particularly necessary if your end users have newer versions of Windows (such as Windows XP, SP2). Refer to your Web server documentation for instructions on adding a MIME type.

After you have followed these steps, instruct your users to visit your Web page and click the thin client link to download and install the thin client. It is a self-extracting archive that will guide your users through the installation process. If you prefer, your users can install the ACUCOBOL-GT Thin Client on their machines from any of our media, or they can download the thin client from the support section of our Web site,

After they have the thin client on their machines, users can visit your Web site anytime and click the program link to launch your thin client application. The program runs on your application server host and the display occurs in an application window on the users' machine, outside of their browser.

Note: If you want to automate the process for end users, you can write an ASP, JSP, VB, or Perl script that uses cookies to check for thin client installations. The user can activate the script by clicking a link on your Web site. The cookie can search for thin client installations on the user's machine, verify that the version is current if one is located, then launch the server application automatically. If a thin client installation is not found or is outdated, it can prompt the user to download new thin client software.