Thanks again to our ACUCOBOL customers for attending last Thursday's webinar and launch event for Extend & AcuToWeb 10.2. Below, you will find the questions posed during the broadcast along with responses from our expert panel.
Can you see the name of the user device in the control panel?
MICRO FOCUS ANSWER #1
You cannot see it on the control panel. Nonetheless, you can obtain this information from the CLIENT-MACHINE-NAME on the TERMINAL-ABILITIES field defined on the ACUCOBOL.def file.
Can you upload PDF files with AcuToWeb?
MICRO FOCUS ANSWER #2
Yes you can. You can copy them on the client machine using the AcuToWeb Desktop or you can display them on the screen using a Web Browser. You can even generate them!
You spoke about AcuToWeb on mobile devices. Does the user interface dynamically adjust to the screen size of say a mobile phone? How would those Grids you showed render on a phone for instance? Thanks!
MICRO FOCUS ANSWER #3
You can use the zoom feature to make parts of the screen bigger. Nonetheless, a screen developed for Windows will contain too much information for a mobile phone. Tablets are best suited for this kind of usage. Or you can create new screens that display information differently using mobile phones
If your COBOL screens are a fixed size, can using style sheets allow you to change the size of such screens?
MICRO FOCUS ANSWER #4
You can change the size of the screen, but that does not mean it will change the size of the components within the screen. This capability cannot be used as a method for resizing the screen.
Is it possible to access to a web service using little to no programming (hosted by a provider) within ACUCOBOL-GT?
MICRO FOCUS ANSWER #5
Yes, you have a library called RMNET that allows you from ACUCOBOL to call web services. Please see the ACUCOBOL documentation for specific samples on how to use this library.
Our application uses .NET assemblies, both graphical and non-graphical. We also use a few .NET executable apps that are called from the COBOL app. Is there support for this in AcuToWeb?
MICRO FOCUS ANSWER #6
No, .NET assemblies are not supported. We are planning to add partial support within a future version of extend. Executable apps that are called from the COBOL app should work if you use a server environment that supports them (e.g. a Windows server for AcuToWeb).
Is it possible to right justify a field in C$PDF e.g. amount and quantity on an invoice?
Can you elaborate on the debug facilities? Is it also browser based?
MICRO FOCUS ANSWER #8
The debugger is the standard debugger within ACUCOBOL-GT but executing on the browser screen. This capability would allow you to debug from a tablet.
If the browser window is resized, will the app's screen resize with it?
MICRO FOCUS ANSWER #9
We reproduce a standard graphical or character window inside the browser. Resizing the browser will not affect the size of the screen, only the portion of the screen you will see. Use the Zoom feature to resize the screen.
Can you add further attributes to forms such as date pickers on date fields, validation on fields for email or post codes, etc.?
MICRO FOCUS ANSWER #10
You can already do this today, programmatically, with ACUCOBOL-GT. This capability exists for AcuToWeb, too. The date picker has been a graphical element available within ACUCOBOL-GT for at least the last 10 years.
Does extend 10.2 support all ActiveX controls, for example the Microsoft Mask Edit Box and Date Time Picker?
MICRO FOCUS ANSWER #11
We keep supporting ActiveX as we did in older versions of extend. Although we haven’t tested against these specific controls, there is no need to use the Date Time Picker as we have implemented a graphical element that supports that functionality directly.
Has the SQL Access speed increased using AcuSQL when using the AcuToWeb interface?
MICRO FOCUS ANSWER #12
There is no relationship between AcuToWeb and AcuSQL. You can execute AcuSQL runtime requests using AcuToWeb, but the performance would be the same.
With ACU thin client you can include or exclude machine names - how do you do that in AcuToWeb?
MICRO FOCUS ANSWER #13
You can work with the AcuAccess file to grant or deny access to your application, as within ACU Thin Client today.
Can I run character screens in AcuToWeb?
MICRO FOCUS ANSWER #14
Yes you can run a character screen in AcuToWeb.
What is the process for editing the CSS? How do you know what references in the CSS reference what elements on forms?
MICRO FOCUS ANSWER #15
Our ACUCOBOL documentation provides the CSS references for the different screen elements. If you want to use the properties ATW-CSS-CLASS or ATW-CSS-ID, you should represent a corresponding class in the current theme (that is, a .class-name entry or a #id-name entry in the cascading style sheet)
Is the data in a Grid Object on the Employee Leave Information screen?
Micro Focus is delighted to announce the general availability of its ACUCOBOL-GT® solution--extend® & AcuToWeb® 10.2. These latest releases deliver additional platform support, new performance improvements for 64-bit architectures and enable developers to instantly deploy their ACU applications to web and mobile devices.
Leverage the power of new development tools, cascading style sheets and web deployment, using AcuToWeb, to deliver a modern application experience for your customers.
Release Highlights include:
All remaining control properties are now supported
New virtual keyboard for mobile devices
Customization of individual graphical controls
AcuToWeb support on UNIX platforms – Solaris, AIX and HP-UX
Native Code support for Intel x64 and AMD64 processors (Windows, Linux & Solaris)
Faster application performance
Acu4GL for MSSQL on Linux platforms
ACU4GL for ODBC on Linux and UNIX platforms
New Print-To-PDF extensions
Visit the ACUCOBOL-GT product pages as well as the product datasheets for a complete list of new features within extend & AcuToWeb 10.2.
Start your application modernization journey today with extend& AcuToWeb 10.2. Contact your account manager to schedule a free product demonstration.
Hi all, I’m very pleased to announce the availability of extend®10.2.
With AcuToWeb 10.2® designed for ACUCOBOL applications, this solution enables development teams to instantly transform their ACU applications and deliver a browser-based experience across mobile, web and cloud platforms.
Using this latest ACUCOBOL technology, direct customers and ISVs can immediately modernize ACUCOBOL-GT® applications and deploy a new user experience across desktop, web, tablet and smartphone devices—without code change.
This new offering is unique to Micro Focus and enables our ACU customers to take their applications to new platforms, markets and end users.
Key release highlights include:
New support for AcuToWeb extensions including:
All remaining control Properties
Virtual keyboard for Mobile devices
Customization of individual graphical controls
AcuToWeb availability on UNIX platforms
Native Code support for Intel x64 and AMD64 processors (Windows, Linux, Unix) providing increased performance for ACUCOBOL applications
Acu4GL for MSSQL for Linux
ACU4GL for ODBC on Linux and UNIX
Updated extend and AcuToWeb datasheets will be available on April 10 on the Micro Focus Web site.
If you wish to register for a product trial or have questions about this new extend offering, please contact your Micro Focus account manager.
Hello ACUCOBOL community and thanks again for the great turnout at our recent extend 10.1 and AcuToWeb product launch webinar last month. There were LOTS of great questions during our launch event and as promised, please find each question and Micro Focus answer below for your reference.
For those that missed the webinar, you can find the recording here for your review.
Extend 10.1 and AcuToWeb product launch webinar Q&A
Q: Any functions left out of current implementation? eg) W$FONT, WIN$PRINTER. What is the plan for next version of AcuToWeb?
A: All functions used by AcuConnect Thin client are implemented within AcuToWeb
Q” Are function key behaviors preserved in AcuToWeb?
A: Yes they are. Where the Web Browser is in use we will provide a virtual keyboard in the next release 10.2.
Q: Are the screens automatically resized?
A: You can use the Web browser resizing feature to change the size of your application screens automatically.
Q: Are AcuToWeb licenses tied to the host system where the main application runs or does the AcuToWeb product have a different licensing model?
A: AcuToWeb is licensed on its own. And the runtimes it uses need to be licensed.
Q: Can AcuToWeb replace 3rd party telnet & SSH software used to access ACUCOBOL green screen applications hosted on a Linux server?
A: Yes you can access your ACUCOBOL application from any web browsers where your character based or graphical application is hosted on a Linux Server
Q: Can AcuToWeb run with 101 character with individual record locking?
A: It can run as it could on a standard desktop application or with ACUConnect Thin Client.
Q: Can the application window within the browser be set to automatically fill 100% of the browser window
A: You are referencing auto resizing in your question. You can resize but you will need to use a program that handles that or the layout manager. You can use the zoom on the navigator to resize the screen without additional code.
Q: Can the Browser size be changed by the user?
A: Yes it can. You can use the zoom feature available on all browsers to resize the screens.
Q: Can themes be applied per user on login to application (or be dynamically set during runtime?)
A: Yes, when sending the URL you can pass the theme. (So you can have as many themes as you want).
Q: If a user logs in and then closes their bowser, does the task timeout? Can the user reconnect to the task?
A: Yes, the task will timeout. So far there is no possibility to reconnect the task if the browser window is closed.
Q: Can you use the CSS to add banners next to your system screens?
Do the intrinsic functions C$... Work with AcuToWeb?
A: Yes, as they work with AcuConnect Thin Client.
Q: Compatibility with old release of AcuCOBOL?
A: Old versions are supported. If you don't want to recompile to use AcuToWeb you are not required to. You need to use ACUCOBOL-GT Runtime version 10.1
Q: Do AcuToWeb programs continue where they left off after a display/accept or do they behave like a CICS program where they terminate at screen display?
A: AcuToWeb does not change the way an application behaves. It will work as if you were using the Thin Client.
Q: Do you need AcuBench to develop the Acu Web applications
A: No you don't need it. We feel it is the best IDE for the task and it has a WYSIWYG paint tool but it is not required.
Q: Does AcuToWeb require IIS on the server?
A: No it does not. It comes with its own Webserver. You can plug in into any Standard Web servers such as IIS or Apache but it is not required.
Q: Does AcuToWeb support the resize layout manager?
A: Yes, the layout manager is supported with AcuToWeb
Q: Does Acu Web access data files using AcuServer?
A: Yes, you application will work as it works today, you can continue to use extend technologies like AcuServer.
Q: Does the application know its running in an AcuToWeb browser window so the Application can display the Application Window in a different size?
A: An ACCEPT TERMINAL-ABILITIES FROM TERMINAL-INFO returns "AcuXUI" when running with AcuToWeb.
Q: Does the end user client have to run thru the Web?
A: AcuToWeb is designed to allow you to run the application on a server and access it from a browser client. If you don't want to use the web, then you can use the ThinClient solution that will allow you to have the application UI presented on the desktop of a Windows client.
Q: Don't know if it the right time. Will this technology will be port for MF Screen Section technology?
A: This technology is only available for Users of extend Graphical Technology
Q: Does AcuToWeb work with .net controls?
A: Functionalities assured by .NET components are not supported due to portability between Web browsers
Q: How about runtime user(s)...
A: Every connection to AcuToWeb uses its own runtime.
"Q: How can we on Linux servers print PDF documents with background graphics, for example company Logos on invoices?
A: At the moment the simplest way of doing it would be to create and XML file and use a stylesheet and FOP to generate the PDF file with graphs, logos, etc. We are working on a way to directly "print to pdf” but at the moment we don't have a graphic capability yet. In version 10.2 we will provide a new Function C$PDF to achieve this.
Q: How is AcuToWeb hosted e.g. via IIS in Windows
A: AcuToWeb includes its own web server. If you wish you may use IIS or Apache to host AcuToWeb.
Q: I saw some references to internationalization and Unicode support, but I did not catch the details. What does AcuToWeb do to help us implement Unicode in our existing applications?
A: If you are looking at Unicode implementation, our graphical elements on version 10.1 support UTF-16 and on top of that we have implemented several routines that allow you to translate between different code pages (UTF-8, UTF-16, ISO, etc)
Q: If a user opens more than one tab, is each counted as a separate session, requiring an additional user license?
A: Yes, each tab will have a full application running with an ACU runtime on the back end dedicated to it.
Q: If you close the browser, does it produce a stop run
A: Yes, we will close the connection and the runtime with a stop run, closing all files cleanly.
Q: Does AcuToWeb support Paged Grids
A: Yes AcuToWeb supports all Standard ACUCOBOL-GT Graphical Controls
Q: Is AcuToWeb a separate license deployed to the client side systems?
A: No, AcuToWeb has only a license on the server.
Q: Is full css supported, so elements can be positioned and rendered differently for different form factors?
A: With AcuToWeb we don't use any media queries in the CSS file. With Media queries, you can change css properties of the css class for a specific device or a group of these. You can create a theme with some Media queries to modify buttons only on the phone or set round corners on windows only on the tablet for example. If you want to know more about Media queries, we suggest this link https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/Media_Queries/Using_media_queries
Q: Is it possible to access local resources of the client as we do with Thin Client? Like C$COPY or REGSITRY calls?
A: Yes, you can with the help of AcuToWeb Desktop. It works on Windows machines.
Q: Is it possible to present a PDF-File printed with ACU-GT in AcuToWeb?
A: Yes it is possible. We have a new print-to-pdf feature on 10.1. You can as well print into a PDF driver and then present the PDF file to the client.
Q: Is the print-to-pdf feature available it release 10.0 or only 10.1?
A: The print to pdf feature is part of the 10.1 release.
Q: Is there a way to interact directly with the HTML5 page and component?
Q: Is there also a way to access a web API instead of a html5 application? This would allow to integrate the functionality of an applications into an existing web application.
A: We can integrate into a framework as long as AcuToWeb is sent to an iFrame. At the moment we have not developed an AcuToWeb web API, but it is something that could come on a future release.
Q: It would be interesting to be able to have an web API to control screens and to retrieve a xml or json output.
A: It is being researched for a future release but at the moment it is not part of the product.
Q: We make extensive use of function keys in our products and it is very important that this is preserved, can you confirm the position re support for function keys in AcuToWeb?
A: We support function keys on AcuToWeb. We are working on the idea of adding a virtual keyboard for combination of keys that would give user assistance when executed on a Web Browser on mobile or Tablet.
Q: What about a completely character based UI...Our application primarily runs under Xinuos Openserver. We make heavy use of Pop Up windows and Function Keys. We don't use any Screen Sections or buttons or any other Windows like UI components. Our application makes very heavy use of modules. Specifically we have a "common" accept program that is used for "all" our input from the user. How can we make it look more "graphical"?
A: AcuToWeb does not change the look and feel of the application by default. If you have a character base application you will still have a character base application at the end. We can modernize the look and feel of graphical elements but they need to be present on the application. The application would work nevertheless.
Q: What do we do if we have ActiveX controls built into our application? Will they need converting?
A: Yes, you will need to find a replacement for them.
Q: What happens if the user hits the back button in the browser?
A: You exit the application and stop the run time is sent (Stop Run)
Q: What if my application has a function key like ctrl+T and I hit it on web browser. What will it happen?
A: Most of the keyboards combinations are taken care of, but some that are more complicated will be added on a virtual keyboard for mobile and tablet.
Q: What if your application is threaded?
A: It will work as expected.
Q: What is the requirement for web server to host Acu2Web, or is the Acu2Web product a stand-alone server in its own right?
A: AcuToWeb includes its own web server. If you want you can use IIS or Apache to host it.
Q: What's about dot.net components? Are they supported?
A: Functionalities assured by .NET components are not supported due to portability between Web browsers.
Q: Where can we access the documentation Dominique spoke of explaining using apache?
A: On the AcuToWeb documentation on 10.1 there is reference to how to use Apache to configure and work with AcuToWeb.
Q: Will AcuToWeb support using my proprietary client installed Report Writing Executable? Or maybe present a generated Report PDF instead?
A: Yes you can redirect the printing to the client machine using AcuToWeb Desktop and there use/execute your application (via c$system calls)
Q: Would we be able to use Mail merge from MSWord or would we require a new solution for this functionality?
A: We can work with Word as an OLE object. On the case at hand, AcuToWeb, the work will be done at the server level. (You can then copie the file/s into the client using c$copy and AcuToWeb Desktop.
Micro Focus is delighted to announce a new and exciting solution for ACUCOBOL® customers—extend™10.1 and AcuToWeb. Designed for ACUCOBOL applications, this latest update to the extend portfolio enables ACU customers to quickly and easily modernize core business systems using the power of UI transformation, the ease of web deployment, and existing developer tools.
Take your business applications to web and mobile platforms, to new customers, and into the future, faster, using extend and AcuToWeb. Instantly transform your ACUCOBOL-GT® and character-based applications and deliver modern browser access across web, tablet, and smartphone devices. Deploy a consistent application experience to end users across web, mobile, and cloud platforms without code change cost or risk. AcuToWeb—a new, fast, and innovative approach to UI transformation.
extend and AcuToWeb help IT teams:
Deliver an instant UI facelift for ACUCOBOL applications with a modern HTML5 appearance
Deploy extend applications across leading web and mobile platforms with no requirement for client-side installation or browser plugins
Manage a single application codebase across UNIX, Linux, Windows desktop, web, mobile, and cloud platforms
Realize a rapid upgrade path with no code change required for most applications utilizing standard controls
Reach new markets and customers with Unicode internationalization support
For additional product release details, please see the extend and AcuToWeb datasheets.
We encourage all ACUCOBOL customers to visit the Micro Focus website to learn more about the latest version of extend and this new UI modernization solution: AcuToWeb.