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ICE.TCP Pro's Application Programming Interface

Application Integration Made Easy

ICE.TCP Pro provides an Application Programming Interface (API) based on OLE technology built on an Active-X control. This Product Feature Brief describes how a software developer can update legacy UNIX database applications and integrate them with office productivity tools such as Access, Excel, ACT, and Word by embedding our telnet OLE Control (OCX) in an application.

ActiveX and OLE Automation

The meaning of ActiveX has changed over time, but generally refers to the Component Object Model (COM) that provides the foundation for Object Linking and Embedding (OLE). COM establishes a common development framework for working with libraries, applications, and system software. Using this framework means that virtually any kind of software can be integrated with another yielding a number of productivity-enhancing benefits.

When OLE Automation is used on top of COM, applications built on Excel, for example, are no longer restricted to Excel's macro language. Because Excel makes its internal services available through interfaces supported by various COM objects, a developer using Visual Basic (or other development tool) can do more than combine the two applications, he or she can actually add functionality to the legacy application.

The Evolution of Telnet--ICE.TCP Pro’s ActiveX Control

ICE.TCP Pro includes a reliable and predictable terminal emulator implemented as an embeddable ActiveX control. This allows telnet-enabled application developers to customize and control their terminal emulation. Application developers can use this API and an ActiveX control enabled development tool like Visual Basic, Visual C++, Delphi or Borland’s C++ Builder to do just about anything with a terminal-based application. A developer creates a container application, embeds the ICE.TCP Pro terminal emulation control, and he or she is ready to go. Here's some of what you get:

  • Access to the screen buffer, active and historic
  • Access to the data stream incoming and outgoing
  • Ability to define hypertext links that the emulator control will find automatically within the onscreen data
  • Ability to control the appearance and keyboard interactions of the emulation
  • Copy data to the clipboard
  • Control of data printing from the emulation
  • Record and play back macros

Extend The Life of Character-based UNIX Applications. Improve User Productivity.

Embedding ICE.TCP Pro’s terminal emulation control adds visual appeal to character-based applications and improves user productivity. Using string recognition and replacement, expanded attribute re-mapping, and bitmapped borders, you can put a new more user-friendly interface on a UNIX accounting package for example. Legacy applications can be ported directly to the corporate Intranet which means users can now quickly and easily access any UNIX database that requires telnet.

Add Functionality and Flexibility To Your Application with ICE.TCP Pro’s ActiveX Control

With ICE.TCP Pro a developer can do more than give a character-based application a face-lift however. Using Pro’s API, a developer can add functionality and flexibility to a UNIX application without ever touching the UNIX code. All a programmer needs is a development tool like Visual Basic to create a container application that offers the new features you want. Pro’s terminal emulation ActiveX control does the rest, linking the new improved interface to the UNIX application. And better still, the whole process can be hidden from the user’s view to eliminate any confusion.

The Screens shots below illustrate a common business situation where a user would like to do an advanced query of a legacy sales database, but he or she is only able to query information one field at a time. With ICE.TCP Pro’s ActiveX API, a developer can capture or "screen scrape" information from any field in the database when the sales report is run.

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Classic telnet access to character-based sales database.

The following screen illustrates how the developer has added functionality to the database. Now the user can query the database by multiple fields simultaneously.

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Data loading constraints are created that provide the user with greater
flexibility and functionality when using the sales database.

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Text is scraped from the database and placed
in the new Visual Basic interface.

When the user runs the sales report, the data loading constraints scrape information from the appropriate spaces in ICE.TCP Pro’s telnet session and place them in fields created in the new interface.

On the following screen, the developer has hidden the Pro telnet session from view so the user won’t become confused.

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Telnet screen is hidden from view and instead
provides a link to the corporate Intranet.

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Data from legacy UNIX database is transparently
integrated with the user's Access database.

Once the data is grouped, ICE.TCP Pro’s ActiveX control allows the developer to seamlessly and transparently transfer the data to another application like Access, Excel, ACT, or Word.

Developer Requirements

To use ICE.TCP Pro’s OLE Automation, intermediate developer skills are required.

Some of ICE.TCP Pro's Features

  • Active highlighting
  • Advanced macros
  • Scripting
  • Keyboard mapping
  • Win 32-GUI interface
  • Full API
  • ActiveX OLE automation component

Evaluation Version

A trialware version is available to qualified developers. User documentation and instructions for obtaining an activation key are available on-line.

For More Information

For more information on embedding ICE.TCP Pro’s Telnet OCX in your application, contact sales at (612) 677-8200.

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