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   Across the Boards - APPX Peer-to-Peer Communications

Across the Boards - APPX Peer-to-Peer Communications


Cooperative Processing with APPX

Cooperative or client-server processing between applications on both mainframe and PC platforms is a necessity, as PC users require direct access to corporate information. An example might be a sales manager who needs to call up and/or alter customer information stored in a mainframe database. Across the Boards offers a method of intertwining applications on both platforms into a system where they co-process, enabling users to call up and manipulate database information at their convenience. This Across the Boards solution is called APPX.

General overview
APPX is a peer to peer communications facility for developers of cooperative systems (applications in which processing occurs on both a mainframe and a PC). APPX handles data transfers between intelligent peers on a logical record level. APPX allows this transfer to take place without concern for the physical communications used.

Features and functions
APPX can:

  • Establish connection with peer (PC to mainframe, PC to PC, or Host to Host)
  • Take care of all physical terminal communications
  • Handle spanning, blocking, and unblocking of logical records
  • Verify data integrity
  • Automatically retry transmissions during error recovery
  • Compress data
  • Encrypt data
  • Allow logical record lengths of 1 to 32767 bytes
  • Transmit text data (upper case translation)
  • Transmit mixed case text (upper and lower case)
  • Transmit binary data (transparent transmission)
  • Detect timeout waiting for peer to respond
  • Permit the application to do other things while waiting for data from peer
How APPX works
At the request of the application programs on both the PC and mainframe ends, APPX establishes a session. In most cases, the first APPX (most often on the PC) will cause the second application to start running on the mainframe (for example, by starting a transaction in CICS). APPX then checks to see that the conversation is orderly, that is, it makes sure one peer is listening (receiving) while the other is talking (sending). The information is passed by way of logical records (any string of data with data type and length specified by the application program). The records may be up to 32K long. The transfer may include any type of information the two applications care to share; for example, the applications may take turns sending information back and forth, or one application may send a batch of records to the other.

Advantages of APPX

  • Lets PC applications communicate with your host applications in a simple reliable way
  • Communication is at a logical record level; records may be text or fully transparent
  • Has full error checking on transmissions
  • Operates over different communication devices with no program changes
  • Provides data compression, blocking, and spanning during transmissions for high performance
  • Complex communications details hidden from application
  • Session may be encrypted and authenticated transparently to the application

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