The iSeries Blog

Feb 20 2008   7:21PM GMT

Zend 5250 Bridge: Make it look all pretty

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Zend now has software in beta called the Platform 5250 Bridge that basically allows you to use this interface:

to access data from these 5250 data screens:

In other words, Zend wants you to be able to use PHP to access those green screens. How it works: The Platform 5250 Bridge sets up contact between a PHP script and a green screen application. The bridge then converts green screen data into an XML format that can be entered into the PHP program or put into an HTML format that users can work with.

The beta program is available now. When it goes general availability later this year, it won’t be free, but users will be able to try out a one-user license for free. From iDevelop:

We’re really looking forward to having the chance to play with this capability, but the demonstrations we’ve seen so far have been impressive. While refacing green-screen applications is not necessarily a good long-term solution, it’s certainly a step along the road, and sometimes may be all you need. With the many additional capabilities that the PHP environment offers, this tool can do much for very little in the way of cash outlay.

2  Comments on this Post

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  • Dave Hanneman
    I think ZEND is trying to crack a dying market. The iSeries market already has a number of 5250 interface or 'puesdo-GUI' products available. Especially since their are offering it for sale. I think ZEND should market this product like their ZEND CORE.
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  • Mike E.
    It looks like Zend is taking a slightly different approach. From what I'm reading, the bridge gives you back an XML document, and you're free to do what you'd like with it. It seems more like a developer tool and less like an end-to-end screen scraping and conversion tool like others I've seen. We've played with HATS and Webfacing, and the performance of both have been pretty bad. If this performs well and lets us quickly create web services out of 5250 apps, this might be exactly what my shop is looking for.
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