Using the ACUCOBOL-GT Web Thin Client

The ACUCOBOL-GT Web Thin Client is a special 32-bit version of the thin client that is based on Microsoft's ActiveX technology. It is itself an ActiveX control that you can embed on your Web page. It makes your existing thin client applications accessible through browsers that support ActiveX, particularly Microsoft Internet Explorer. While the Web thin client runs only on Windows machines, it can access files or run programs on UNIX and other platforms using AcuConnect.

With the Web thin client, users who visit your site are automatically provided the software they need to run your application on the remote host, providing that they grant permission first. Software installation and program invocation are transparent.

Here is the general process:

  1. The end user visits a page on your Web site.
  2. The Web browser software looks for the Web thin client on the user's machine. If it locates the Web thin client, it runs it, and the Web thin client launches the program on the server.
    If the Web browser cannot find the Web thin client locally, it downloads the file from the specified location and asks the user
    Do you want to install and run ACUCOBOL-GT Web Thin Client?
    This message may appear in a dialog box, or in newer versions of Windows (such as Windows XP, SP2), it may appear in an Information Bar at the top of the browser window. To assure the user that the installation is safe, the Web thin client is supplied as a cabinet (CAB) file with a digital signature from Acucorp.

    If the user grants permission, the Web thin client is sent to the client machine, where it automatically installs itself and launches your program on the server. The server then projects the user interface back onto the client.

Note: For automatic installation to be performed, you program your Web page with the CODEBASE attribute of the OBJECT tag as instructed in Using the OBJECT Tag.