News in NetPhantom 5.0

These are news implemented in NetPhantom version 5.00 after Build 5000 since version 4.10 Build 4500.

Also see news in the previous versions.

News in Version 5.00 Build 5000

  • Company name change
    The NetPhantom product now has the new company name Nexum International SARL from Codectica Systems SARL. A new certificate for Nexum Technologies is also used. The product- and copyrights are also in the name of Nexum International SARL.
  • New installation program for the Editor and/or Server for Windows
    A new installation program can select to install only the Server or the Editor and the Server.
  • Optimized transaction communication between server and client
    The transaction sizes between the server and the client is considerably decreased, between 25 to 50% of the previous sizes. This is achieved by compressing the transaction using a ZIP algorithm. This dramatically impacts the network bandwidth positively. The Server, however, requires a little more CPU resources to perform the compression, but even under heavy load, this has not been noticed.
  • Caching of combobox and spin button files on Client and Server side
    The Server now caches files used for the lists of comboboxes and spin buttons. The Client caches the file once transferred, and thus only a reference to the file is passed in the server to client transaction the next time the same (unchanged) file is required. This causes much smaller data transfers from the Server to the Client if an application contains reoccurring controls as described above.
  • Support for loading files for comboboxes and spin buttons from a compiled project programmatically
    Using the REXX function PanComboFromFile or PanListFromFile to comboboxes and spin buttons now supports using the files compiled into the application JAR file. Previously, they had to be outside the JAR file.
  • Support for the APL2 code page as a secondary character set for 3270 terminals
    Some mainframe programs typically use the APL2 code page to make use of the box drawing characters, i.e. lines, corners, crosses, etc. This is now implemented (and only applies to 3270 sessions).
  • Unicode support in some NetPhantom parts
    Due to e.g. APL2 support that is converted into Unicode characters, various parts of the system now include support for Unicode characters. These are: screen identifications and EEM and EE files (the Emulator Emulator package). This causes the EE, EEM and PHE files not to be readable by previous NetPhantom versions such as 4.1 or earlier.
  • Support for setting the client language and country
    A new client parameter LANG can now be used to set the language displayed on the Client side. Supported languages are English (en), German (de) and Swedish (sv). The country can also be specified. The Java System variables user.language and optionally are also updated. The LANG parameter should be specified as either ll or ll_CC, where ll is the language (en, de or sv), and CC the country code (e.g. CH for Switzerland or FI for Finland).
  • Report printing is now able to select landscape or portrait mode
    The Report Open command has been enhanced with a new second parameter that can be left out, specified to 0 (zero) to use Portrait, 1 (one) to use Landscape and -1 (minus one) to use the Default printer setting. Check the updated REPORT sample.
  • Support for background color for spin button and comboboxes
    The Editor now supports defining the background color for spin buttons and comboboxes.
  • Support for file name and file contents for spin buttons
    A new option is now available for spin buttons, like for comboboxes, to specify a file name for the contents of the spin button. An option to sort the spin button list automatically is also added.
  • Advanced encryption standard
    In cryptography, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is an encryption standard adopted by the U.S. government. The standard comprises three block ciphers, AES-128, AES-192 and AES-256, adopted from a larger collection originally published as Rijndael. Each AES cipher has a 128-bit block size, with key sizes of 128, 192 and 256 bits, respectively. The AES ciphers have been analyzed extensively and are now used worldwide, as was the case with its predecessor, the Data Encryption Standard (DES).
    The Java VM used for NetPhantom must have the 2 JAR files replaced under the directory of the JVM {javadir}\jre\lib\security called local_policy.jar and US_export_policy.jar. These files can be downloaded from the Sun Java site ("Encryption policy files for JDK xxx).
  • Function to enable/disable updates of the client GUI from the server side - REXX function PanEnableClientUpdates
    A new function to disable updates of the GUI panels to the client if a lot of manipulation is done on the server side to one or several panels causes a lot of traffic to the client. The new REXX function PanEnableClientUpdates(0) would disabled the updates from the server, and once e.g. the panel is filled, typically a list box and several other controls, the function PanEnableClientUpdates(1) can then be called to flush all changes done in the panel to the client in a single transaction. This method is also available from Java in the Server in the method VirtualSessionManager.enableClientUpdates(boolean on). To check if the client updates are enabled, use the REXX function PanIsClientUpdatesEnabled() or from Java VirtualSessionManager.isClientUpdatesEnabled().
    Caution: these methods are intended for experienced NetPhantom programmers and must very often be used in a combination of locking the client (PanLock) and/or inhibiting host processing (PanHostInhibit).
  • Option to turn on/off programmatically all tool-tip help texts per user session
    Experienced users often do not want to see the tool-tip texts. A new function in VirtualSessionManager.setDisplayTooltipTexts(boolean on), is now available. This can only be done from Java, not from REXX code.
    The function in Java to set a tooltip text for a particular component is still working:
            VirtualInterface.setProperty("tooltip_text","text to display, even in HTML");
    Or from REXX:
            rc=PanSetCtlProperty("ctlID","tooltip_text","text to display or just a plain text")
    These ctlID, i.e. references to parts in panels, can refer to individual controls, sub-menu items, menu items or pop-up menu items (and their sub-menu items too).
  • Colors: custom settings for the Client in server.ini
    The color of controls when disabled and/or read-only (if this is a valid attribute) is not consistent. This depends very much on the implementation, e.g. Entry field, Multiple line entry field, combination box and spin button. The same look-and-feel should apply: when read-only or disabled: to have the same background color as the panel and with a readable text, close to the black color.
    Individual colors (each color index that is used in NetPhantom) should be customizable in "server.ini" and initiating the client with this color table at start-up. Colors not defined will use their default values or the system defined colors. See the section [customize] in server.ini for more information.
  • Editor: read-only application definitions
    Application definitions with a non-writable definition file were not possible to open in the editor. Logically, applications should be possible to open in read-only mode. However, an error is generated if the application is changed and an attempt at saving it is made.
  • Editor: do not display message box when quitting an application in test mode (current application)
    When closing the client being run in test mode with the current application, the message box should be skipped to quicker return to the application development.
  • Editor: several dialog boxes contains the same mnemonic character for e.g. Host field and Hindi digits
    Pressing Alt+H normally sets the focus to the Host field. In certain control dialog boxes, the mnemonic "H" is also used for Hindi digits, making the development slower for advanced users.
  • Support for colors on notebook tab
    The notebook control now supports tab foreground colors.
  • New REXX function PanSetRatioAndFontScaling used to set the panel ratio X/Y and optional font scaling
    This REXX function can be called at runtime to change the settings for ratioX and ratioY used to calculate panel sizes. An optional and new function is the font scaling that is done using the ratio parameters. With this REXX function, panels can be made larger or smaller like a zoom function in order to optimally display a panel on various screen resolutions.
    Note: it is important to quickly display a MAIN panel with the option "Change main panel size" as quickly as possible in order for all fonts and panel sizes (and its controls) to be recalculated and resized properly.
    This function can also be used in e.g. a REXX macro or Java code (in VirtualSessionManager the method is called setRatioAndFontScaling - see the Java API documentation for REXXMigration, NetRexxMigration or VirtualSessionManager) when the application starts up, i.e. at the START application object message.
  • Command line Compile Distribution batch file
    Using the CompileDistribution.bat file installed with the Editor, an application can be compiled for distribution from command line without having to start the Editor.
    Note: the batch file must most certainly be changed in order to set the path to the JDK properly, but at least it serves as an example of how it is done.
  • New global setting for launching the current application in a browser from the Editor
    The dialog box for Options - Configure Java environment has been enhanced to include default launching settings to run the current application in the Editor in a browser. The browser is configurable as well as the HTML page that is used to start the NetPhantom Client as a Java Applet. It also defaults to the server-configured (and active) ports, e.g. port 789 for HTTP or 443 for HTTPS. It selects the correct protocol and prefers HTTP over HTTPS.
  • Larger input fields for merged applications in Configure project
    The input fields for merged applications in Configure project in the Editor were too small when many applications are used. The input fields are now replaced with scrollable multiple-line entry fields, and the User properties have been moved to a new notebook page in the dialog box.
  • Faster installation of NetPhantom Starter (with or without SSL)
    The installation program scripts are now optimized to install the above program quicker, about 30 to 50% faster, depending on where the MSI files are located.
  • New licensing system
    The new licensing system enables for example a grace period to be used for the Editor, email addresses to be used to receive news about new releases, etc, and the possibility to directly create a mail that is sent to NetPhantom Support with all information preformatted, among other things.

Previous versions

The links below indicates news implemented in the individual builds: