Case Communications Ltd reckons that the whole world has been so busy designing converters and emulators to get users into the IBM environment that the industry has forgotten about all those poor IBM 3270 users who would like to use their 3270 to get at data held on minicomputers, which have only asynchronous communications. The […]
Case Communications Ltd reckons that the whole world has been so busy designing converters and emulators to get users into the IBM environment that the industry has forgotten about all those poor IBM 3270 users who would like to use their 3270 to get at data held on minicomputers, which have only asynchronous communications. The product Case has introduced to handle this is ANET which is an assembler application running on an IBM mainframe under VTAM, and converts 3270 commands into any of the DEC VT terminal modes, or any other well-used asynchronous protocol, and an interface board inside Case’s DCX communications processor. While all DEC, Data General and Prime protocols are supported, other such as Hewlett-Packard use hybrid communications and they have to be accessed by using VT100 emulations which they usually already support. Until now IBM users that wanted to send a telex, or access a public packet network or an application on an asynchronous host would have had to install a second terminal on their desk. The only other way of doing the same thing is to go through a proprietary communications architecture on one of the asynchronous hosts, such as DECnet, or through IBM’s 3174 which will support VT100 emulation. Case argues that DECnet can only allow 12 concurrent users and four others in a queue, while IBM’s 3174 denies full screen emulation, which is fairly limiting. A single DCX connects to the IBM 37X5 communications processor and can hold up to eight ANET Interface Units. Each unit will allow 32 concurrent terminal sessions. The product was quietly launched in the US a few months back and there are 27 already installed. At a minimum of UKP16,500 including the DCX node for each installation, that means it has already contributed over UKP500,000 to Case’s turnover in the US, quite a fillip on a US turnover for the first half year to September 30 of UKP11.4m. There are two UK test installations in place and ANET is believed to be at the centre of a bid for a networking system that Case is involved in worth UKP500,000.