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G&R » About G&R » News » Glink 8.0a beta is available  

Glink 8.0a beta is available

This is your chance to qualify R8.0 of Glink Professional. The beta versions of Glink Professional Edition and Glink Enterprise Edition are available for download and test from our distributors. If you are waiting for functionality in R8.0 of Glink, you should test the beta to be sure that it is working for you.

This is a significant release of Glink. It introduces:

  • New Glink look: New Icons New Toolbar images
  • New platforms: Windows 2003 64bit, and Windows XP 64 bit.
  • New product: GlinkVisual and GlinkVisual Forms Assistant.
  • New facelift tool: GlinkWeb Forms Assistant.
  • New functionality: A graphical keyboard configuration facility. A graphical character set transliteration facility. More security: SSH for all Glink TCP/IP Communications (Ggate, TNVIP, TN3270, TN5250, Telnet and rlogin). SSH and SSL for Glink FTP.
  • New communications: DGA (Direct GCOS Access) for Bull users. Gives you DSA session over TCP/IP direct to GCOS with no Ggate/TNVIP server or front-end.
  • New file transfer: When using DGA, Bull UFT is added to the supported file transfer protocols.
  • New languages: Arabic is supported. The Bull DKU emulation is extended for Arabic. The IBM3270 emulation is extended for Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

New Glink look

New Icons

For the first time since the release of Glink for Windows in 1992, Glink has acquired new icons; as have GlinkFTP, Glink Forms Assistant and the Glink License server.

New Toolbar images

For the first time since the release of Glink for Windows in 1992, Glink and GlinkFTP have acquired new toolbar images. Over 100 new icons have been added to Glink to give it a full new XP look and feel. These icons are used in the Glink toolbar, menus and dialog boxes. For a full list of the available images and their default function association you may refer to the Glink function list section of the on-line help.

New platforms

This release has been qualified on the 64-bits version of Windows 2003 and Windows XP. This allows you to migrate your users to powerful Intel Itanium servers running Windows 2003 Terminal Server or to take advantage of powerful 64-bit workstations from AMD.

New product

GlinkVisual and GlinkVisual Forms Assistant

This release of Glink Professional Edition includes support for the first release of the GlinkVisual Forms Assistant, to assist you in developing Visual Basic applications to facelift your mainframe application screens. The GlinkVisual Forms Assistant is a separately priced product needed by developers. The runtime support is included in Glink Professional Edition and Glink Enterprise Edition, and needs no additional user license, other than a Glink Professional Edition or Glink Enterprise Edition license.

GlinkVisual is a replacement for GL.Visual, a product developed by another software house and now discontinued and unsupported. GlinkVisual can also replace Net.Visual and EYESYS. There is very little conversion effort needed, and our distributors offer conversion packages that include some or all of the conversion (depending on price).

New facelifting tool

GlinkWeb Forms Assistant

GlinkWeb (Glink in Web mode, run on a Web server and accessed from browsers) automatically converts mainframe application screens to HTML on the fly, so that your users can access the applications from a browser. The conversion automatically facelifts the screens to some degree, but you can gain considerable extra functionality for your browser users by investing in some custom facelifting. This release of Glink Enterprise Edition includes the first release of the GlinkWeb Forms Assistant, to assist you in building ASPs (Active Server Pages) to facelift your mainframe application screens for viewing from a browser.

New functionality

Integrated Graphical keyboard configuration window

You configure your Glink keyboard layout using a friendly graphical interface (GUI) in a single configuration window. The Glink emulation window is updated with your configuration changes dynamically as you make them. A Keyboard pane in the configuration window displays a keyboard diagram that is modified to match the keyboard you are actually using. A Functions pane displays a function tree with every Terminal function, Glink function, Macro, Script, Menu shortcut, Configuration dialog box, and Character known to Glink. The functionality is accessed from:

  • Settings=>Keyboard

You can select key combinations for configuration by clicking them in the keyboard diagram, or by pressing the keys on the keyboard. The basic mode of operation is that you expand the function tree in the Functions pane to reach the function you would like to configure, and then drag it to the Keyboard pane and drop it on the key where you would like the function. There is a separate group with tabbed panes for the Function bar, the Keyboard bar and the Menu setup. You can configure each of these in the same way by dragging a function from the Functions pane, and dropping it onto the item where you would like the function.

Macro limitations removed

To maximize the functionality of the keyboard configuration GUI the macro capability has been dramatically increased. You can configure up to 1000 different macros, each of which can be as long as available memory permits. There is no upper limit on the total length for all macros, again memory permitting.

Integrated graphical transliteration table generator

Configuration of the transliteration tables used to transliterate character set between PCmainframe has been moved to the emulation configuration dialog box:

  • Settings=>Emulation=>Transliteration

A "Configure" button takes you to a dialog box that lets you modify the transliteration table or build new ones.

Text to button (hot spot) conversion extensions

The facility for pre-configuring screen texts for conversion to buttons has been extended from detecting only strings such as 'Fnn', 'PFnn' etc. to allow you to configure any text you might receive from the mainframe for automatic conversion to a button. Each text you configure is associated with a macro that can use any of the normal macro functions, including execution of script commands. This functionality is accessed from:

  • Settings=>Screen=>Facelifting=>Custom

Language extensions

Support has been provided for use of the Arabic character set. Glink uses ANSI Arabic (code page 1256) internally, as do other Windows applications. Mainframes normally use ASMO (code page 708) for transmission over the line, and Glink includes a transliteration file (GLWINK.ARA) that implements this. You select the transliteration table in:

  • Settings=>Emulation=>Transliteration

As for the other Windows character sets, you configure Arabic in:

  • Settings=>Screen=>Fonts=>Character set

The complete set of supported languages is now:

  • Latin-1, Latin-2, Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic, Turkish, Baltic, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese (Shift-JS), Chinese GBK (PRC), Chinese (Korea), Chinese Big5 (Taiwan)

The Bull DKU emulation has been extended to support Arabic, using the standard Bull character set (C114) on the GCOS7 mainframes. C114 is ASMO, and needs the GLWINK.ARA transliteration.

The IBM emulations have been extended to support all of the double-byte character set (DBCS) languages: Japanese (using SHIFT-JIS locally), Chinese Simplified (using GB2312 locally), Chinese Traditional (using Big5 locally) and Korean (using Hangeul locally). All you need to do is install the standard Windows National Language Support for the languages in which you are interested.

SSH (Secure Shell) extensions

In addition to being available as a separate Communications Interface, Plink is now available transparently from all the TCP/IP interfaces.

That means that you can run a Ggate, TNVIP, TN3270, TN5250 Telnet or rlogin session with SSH. Glink automatically and transparently starts the PuTTY interface and dynamically sets up SSH port forwarding for your connection. This is far easier for you than the static and complicated port forwarding configuration offered by PuTTY. You can set up a single SSH system to act as a secure gateway for all of your internal mainframes, whether they be Bull, IBM, UNIX or Linux. Note that Glink FTP can now use SSH tunneling, so that your SSH system can also act as a secure front-end for all your FTP transfers.

New Communications protocol for Bull users

The new DGA (Direct GCOS Access) interface allows you to connect to Bull mainframe systems using either DSA or DIWS protocols over TCP/IP, without the need for a Ggate (or TNVIP) intermediate server or front-end system. DGA is a full-scale implementation of DSA/DIWS. It handles both DSA200 (accessing GCOS 7) and DSA300 (accessing GCOS 8 and GCOS 6). The DSA300 protocol includes all CXI options for accessing TP8.

Unified File Transfer

The Bull UFT (Unified File Transfer) protocol has been added to the set of file transfer protocols supported by Glink when it is using the new DGA (Direct GCOS Access) protocol:

  • Transfers=>File transfer menu

IBM 3270 graphics extensions

A number of enhancements have been made for graphics displayed in 3270 mode:

  • Display of graphics screens has been speeded up by displaying the graphics as they are received rather than waiting for the entire screen.
  • Graphics are displayed at a size that suits the current screen size. However, if you resize the Glink window, Glink will now resize the graphics along with the window.
  • Full support for printing and copying graphics to the clipboard is provided.
  • Some minor changes to the way in which colours are displayed provide better compatibility with IBM's Personal Communications.
  • Additional predefined colour schemes have been provided both for screen colour mapping and printer colour mapping.

IBM 3270 APL support

The IBM 3270 terminal was available with an option for display and entry of APL symbols for programmers using that language. This support is now built into Glink. Glink uses the same keyboard layout as the original terminal and IBM's Personal Communications package.

Display of APL characters from the host is automatic. APL keyboard entry mode is toggled on and off using the Ctrl+F8 key. For real usability in entry mode a keyboard overlay (or a real APL keyboard) is desirable. The font needed for APL display is provided as part of the standard Glink delivery.

Script trace window

The script command 'Trace' now starts a trace window that displays the source of the script, highlighting each command as it executes. An optional parameter to 'Trace' supplied a delay in tenths of a second to be applied between each script command, in order to make it possible to follow what happens in the trace window.

Script trapping of Double-click

If you set up an 'ON KEY' trap for single-clicks ($MLEFT, $MRIGHT, $MMIDDLE), you can set up an additional trap for double-click of the same keys ($MLDBL, $MRDBL, $MMDBL). The double-click can only be trapped if the single-click is also trapped.

Script timeouts for dialog box controls

If your script defines a dialog box you are now able to use TIMEOUT and INACTIVITY options for many DBOX controls. These have an obvious application for buttons, where you can "press" the button after the specified interval. But you can also apply them to checkboxes and radio buttons, where you might use a shorter timeout to select given options before the button timeout is reached.

Script Button extension

The BUTTON/SET BUTTON family of script commands has been extended to support up to 48 buttons.

FTP improvements

Glink FTP now supports secure file transfers using either SLL or SSH. You select the security you want in Setup=>host. The configuration of SLL or SSH is identical to the configuration of the same options in Glink.

The four gigabyte limit on file transfers has been removed. You can happily transfer complete DVDs using the Glink FTP.

Transliteration has been added for text file transfers, both as a default or forced for a specific file transfer. Any Glink transliteration file can be selected.

Icons for 'Upload/Download as' (i.e. with renaming) have been added to the toolbar.

Both the remote and local file lists now support sorting by name, date or size. Sorting is done in the same way as in the explorer window. Sorting files in date order makes it easy to locate files that have recently been modified.

You can configure the meaning of a double-click on a file to be 'Open', 'Edit', 'View', 'Up/Download' (keeping name) or 'Up/Download as' (to rename). Select the option you prefer in Settings=>Files.

Options have been added to regard mainframe files with no extensions as text (as opposed to binary) for transfer, and add or strip the .txt extension to the file name. This is useful for some mainframes, such as GCOS8.

Glink API extensions


restore a saved screen


save the screen (compressed)


is field restricted to upper case


obtains Glink character set name


clear event queue


use event queuing (not listener)


get event from queue

Glink HLLAPI REXX support

Glink HLLAPI is extended to support REXX language interpreters. Qualified for use with the Regina REXX interpreter.

Facelifting enhancements

The 'fix DKU attributes' option has been enhanced to work with both 3D effects turned on and off. By default this option is turned on to improve the visual rendition of forms.

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