A new version of TTWin has just been released, and with it comes significant updates to the programs scripting capabilities offering even greater flexibility and power to automate tasks, improve the user experience and enhance your legacy applications. Read on for a detailed look at TTWin's new Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for scripting featuring syntax highlighting, auto complete, debugger and a new Visual Basic for Applications compatible scripting language.
One feature which sets high quality terminal emulators apart from bare bones competitors is the inclusion of a fully featured scripting and/or macro language. In complex enterprise environments where users require a level of automation scripting is an extremely useful, especially in situations where not every user has the skills and ability to successfully navigate a legacy host.
Since the late 1990's Turbosoft flagship terminal emulator for Windows, TTWin, has included a scripting language as a standard feature. This scripting language was originally called TTWin Basic and, at the time of introduction, was closely modelled on the then current Microsoft's Visual Basic standard. This allowed those with some prior programming experience to start working with TTWin scripting quickly and easily, and meant that there was no need to learn yet another language. TTWin Basic provided access to the TTWins DDE interface, ActiveX interface and an extensive TTWin API for controlling and manipulating many facets of the program and host data stream.
The new enhanced TTWin scripting IDE.
Why the change?
TTWin Basic remains a useful and feature complete language, however the toolsets provided with TTWin Basic offer only rudimentary debugging and error checking. Additionally TTWin Basic is based on a standard of Microsoft Visual Basic which has since evolved and expanded, and as such it made sense to introduce language changes at the same time as overhauling and expanding the development tools.
The new language standard is based on the more current, Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications language specification and offers an impressive, feature complete language with the traditional simplicity of a Basic type language. If you're familiar with TTWin Basic, or any Microsoft Visual Basic language you'll find the syntax and control structures of the new VBA style script easy to understand and transition to.
Will my TTWin Basic scripts still work? Do I need to convert them?
TTWin Basic scripts are not compatible with the new VBA style script. However, we recognise that users and organisations have often invested significant time and effort into developing TTWin Basic scripts unique to their host environments. Rest assured that these scripts can continue to be developed, maintained and run within TTWin, side by side with the newer format scripts.
The newer development tools cannot be used with legacy TTWin Basic scripts, but your current toolset for validation and (external) authoring will continue to work.
What new features does the VBA Script offer?
Where previously versions of TTWin would open scripts in an external editor (Notepad by default) TTWin 4.8 includes an integrated development environment with a number of useful new features. These include:
- Syntax highlighting to appropriately color script content depending on relevant function and category.
- Auto complete to suggests method names and parameter details. This provides an easy way to expose method and parameter details for the TTWin API. Typing TTWin., as shown in the picture above, will bring up a list of available methods.
- Graphical editing for dialog objects. Simplify UI element creation with visual editing and design tools.
- Debugging. This includes the ability to step through code, set and continue from breakpoints, watch and inspect variables. This feature is a huge step forward and greatly simplifies to task of debugging complex scripts.
How do I upgrade to TTWin 4.8?
If you're an existing TTWin user under warranty or with a valid maintenance contract, simply click here to login and download your new software. You may also need to request a new license certificate for version 4.8
TTWin users of older software should contact their reseller or Turbosoft for upgrade options.
Unrestricted demo versions of TTWin 4.8 are always available, click here to download.
TTWin 4.8 includes updated documentation and sample scripts. Scripting quickstart documentation and extra sample scripts are available from our Support Downloads area.