These days, we take the simplicity of working with computers for granted. If you're like most people, you're reading this page from a computer running a Windows operating system, though if you fall outside of the majority, it could be the increasingly popular Mac OS X from Apple, or maybe even a PC running Linux. Whatever the case, your operating system is doing an impeccable job of making using your computer a breeze and this is largely thanks to its graphical user interface or GUI. Once upon a time, there were no GUIs -- there were only text based terminals. In this article, we'll take a look at the evolution of computer access from crude terminals to graphical user interfaces, as well as looking at the role that terminal emulation plays today.
Since the arrival of cloud computing, the debate has raged: is cloud computing really just the mainframe re-imagined? Or are the differences significant enough that these two technologies should be considered opposite? In this article, we'll take a look at both the similarities and differences of mainframe and cloud computing technology, including scalability, security, and terminal emulation considerations.
Here's an important thing to remember about big businesses: when downtime occurs, it impacts them in a big way. Downtime is, quite simply, an absolute disaster. And when we talk about "big business" we're not just talking about your run-of-the-mill corporation, either. We're talking about Fortune 500 -- the largest corporations in the world. Now, because they cannot afford downtime, these mega corporations require "mission-critical" transaction systems to run on powerful mainframes. This is where Customer Information Control System (CICS) comes in. Many of these companies -- up to 90 per cent of the world's Fortune 500 companies, it has been estimated -- use CICS for their rapid, high-volume online processing needs, with the help of terminal emulation software to access the CICS servers.
A thin client is a type of computer or piece of software that relies on another more powerful computer to do most of its work. Connected to a network, the thin client computer or software provides an interface through which the user communicates with a network server computer. Because the thin computer is not powerful, it is virtually useless on its own; however, when connected to a centralised network server computer, it is capable of displaying all the information that a user requires. Powerful mainframe computers, for example, can be accessed through thin client terminal emulation.