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   Across the Boards - XAPI - Terminal Access and Control

Across the Boards - XAPI - Terminal Access and Control


Introduction to XAPI

General overview
XAPI is a tool that allows standardized host access through TCP/IP, TELNET, 3270 emulators, 5250 emulators, protocol converters and other terminal devices. It provides applications with the ability to read and write terminal buffers, send keystrokes, and in general mimic the actions of a user at a terminal. Existing applications or new applications on the mainframe may be accessed and controlled from within an application using XAPI.

XAPI can:

  • Read data from the terminal buffer
  • Write data into the terminal buffer
  • Send keystrokes
  • Check terminal status
  • Assist in building cooperative applications
  • Access most 3270 emulators, and many 5250 emulators
  • Supports most products providing a HLLAPI interface
  • Provide access to 3270 coax cards without additional software
  • Provide complete embedded implementation of TN3270 and TN5250 (including TN3287 printer support)
  • Implements embedded 3101, VT220, VT320 emulation over serial and TELNET links
  • Supports simultaneous terminal multiple sessions and is thread safe

How XAPI works
PC applications call XAPI to request that various actions be taken at the terminal. XAPI allows the application to send and receive data using direct access to the terminal buffer and to then send terminal keystrokes as if an operator had typed them. XAPI provides a straightforward and consistent API for applications over a broad range of terminal devices. While differences exist between classes of terminal (for example, different classes of terminals have different sets of keys), these are minimized, and within a class of terminal, there are very few differences visible to the application.

By supporting a variety of devices, XAPI lets your application fit easily into the end-user's environment. By using the embedded terminal emulators, like TN3270, an application can be deployed that uses a terminal session with the host, yet does not require any additional software on the end user's workstation. And if the user already has a terminal emulator installed, the application can be deployed to use either the installed emulator, or the embedded emulator completely independently of the installed emulator.


  • Provides you with a common application program interface (API) for all the supported terminal emulators, protocol converters, embedded terminal emulators and supported hardware, so your application can support different types of host access with ease.
  • Functions at a higher level and is much easier to use than the API supplied with the communications device or software (if one is supplied at all).
  • Provides functions to simplify data transfer.
  • Provides embedded emulators to reduce deployment costs and simplify coexistence with other terminal emulation products.

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