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tpfsoftware.com > news > "Newsletter Spring 2002"
Newsletter Spring 2002

GI/TERM launched at Worldspan — slated to replace VISTA

Worldspan begins the migration of ALC users from the VISTA green screen to the new graphical user interface product by TPF Software.

As of early 2002, Worldspan has begun migrating its employees who are ALC users from the VISTA green-screen interface to a more powerful product with a graphical user interface: GI/TERM.

GI/TERM also supports the ACTIVE and TCP/IP protocols.

GI/TERM is TPF Software?s ALC terminal emulation product that brings the convenience and power of a graphical user interface to long-suffering ALC users. A graphical user interface (GUI) provides users with the productivity enhancements expected on a modern PC: tool buttons; drop-down and right click menus; copy, cut and paste; point and click; multiple windows; and customizable colors, among others.

But the advantages of GI/TERM are not limited to a more attractive user interface. According to Patsy Ferguson, Senior Quality Control Analyst at Worldspan, GI/TERM has brought advantages in decreased training time, reduced resource use, and increased testing efficiency .

Training Advantages

Moving from a command-driven, green-screen interface to a GUI product usually makes it easier to train users, and Worldspan is finding this to be true with GI/TERM as well.

"GI/TERM will serve as a great time saver to our area not only for testing but also in the area of training," Patsy Ferguson says.

"We used to spend one and a half days teaching test system functionality and Xedit commands for working with our files. That time has been decreased to less than half a day. We can sit with someone one on one and in about 30 minutes have them using basic functions. After less than two hours, they are proficient."

Using GI/TERM

GI/TERM is easy to use from beginning to end. When a user starts GI/TERM, the first thing he or she sees is the GI/TERM Control Center. This Control Center contains the list of hosts the user can connect to.

To begin using ALC terminals, the user simply double clicks a host in the Control Center. GI/TERM connects to that host, and all the CRT windows available for this user on that host automatically appear (item 4 in the figure). GI/TERM has the ability to connect to multiple hosts, with more than one terminal per host.

Resource Use Advantages

According to Jeff Longwell of Worldspan, GI/TERM?s ability to connect to multiple hosts with multiple terminals inspired him to make internal improvements to the VISTA code to work with this feature.

As a result, Worldspan has discovered that moving to GI/TERM will help them reduce the number of user IDs that each ALC tester requires.

"I used to have four user IDs for accessing our test systems," says Patsy Ferguson. "Within a week of using GI/TERM, I discontinued two of them as they are no longer required. If another session is needed, it is just added."

Testing Advantages

Although GI/TERM is a great tool for any ALC user, it has features that make it especially convenient and powerful for ALC programmers and testers.

"GI/TERM has proven in the short time we have had it, to be a great tool for accessing our test systems and filing log/capture files," Patsy Ferguson says. "We have all the functionality plus more than we had using VM4 and the cumbersome Xedit entries."

The most important of GI/TERM?s testing features is the recording, playback, and logging of messages. In GI/TERM, these three concepts are grouped together under the name "Message Run."

Message Run

Every ALC CRT window in GI/TERM has its own Message Run window, which can either "dock" (attach itself to) the CRT window or "float" (be a separate window) (item E in the figure).

Each Message Run window contains three pages.

  • The Run page displays the current input file for that CRT. This is the file of messages that can be played back into the terminal.
  • The Capture page displays the input currently being captured to a file.
  • The Log page displays the input and output currently being logged to a file.

Any of these three files can be edited using a built-in PC editor and then easily saved to the host. In fact, it is a seamless process to open and use files on the host, edit them on the PC, then save them back to the host. To minimize download time, GI/TERM transparently caches host files on the PC.

The Run, Capture and Log facilities are extremely simple to control. For example, clicking the Capture tool button once will start recording input to a temporary file. Clicking the tool button a second time will stop recording and prompt the user to save to a permanent file.

Worldspan is finding GI/TERM?s handling of files to be very convenient. "Now we point and click to access run files or any file," Patsy Ferguson says. And Joe Patton of Worldspan says, "GI/TERM improves my productivity by providing log files that I can easily send off-site."

Can GI/TERM Work for You?

The answer is almost certainly yes. You don?t need CMSTPF, TPF/GI, or any other TPF Software products to use GI/TERM. All you need is TPF 4.1, and GI/TERM can be running on your system in a couple of days. You don?t need CMSTPF, TPF/GI, or any other TPF Software products. All you need is TPF 4.1, and GI/TERM can be running on your system in a couple of days.

From an administrator?s point of view, according to Jeff Longwell, GI/TERM is easy to work with. ?I am happy with how simple the install and maintenance of GI/TERM is,? he says. GI/TERM allows administrators to add company-specific items to its menus, and Jeff Longwell says that is another factor in making it easy for him to maintain.

Call Thiru at 919-676-5501 for information or for a trial run of GI/TERM on your system.

 

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