Browser-Based Terminal Emulation and the Java Plug-In—What You Need to Know

by David Fletcher on August 2, 2016

Browser-Based Terminal Emulation

The death of the Java plug-in is not news. Lots of articles talk about it. Even Oracle (who makes the Java plug-in) has finally agreed to dump it. For many users and businesses, this is not a big deal. And for IT staff, it’s actually a relief. It means they’ll no longer have to deal with the annoying Java Runtime Environment (JRE).

It wasn’t always this way. In the beginning, IT saw Java as a way to build enterprise applications that could be run without installation, updates, or device-specific requirements. But naturally, there’s a tradeoff: You must install and maintain some notoriously problematic software—the Java Runtime Environment (JRE)—on all participating devices. That’s one big maintenance and security headache for IT. Basically, it reintroduces the very problem that Java was originally supposed to solve.

Enter HTML5/JavaScript. The HTML5/JavaScript approach requires no device-specific components beyond a modern browser. IT staff can serve up web applications to hundreds or thousands of users without having to touch any user devices. They need only maintain a dozen or so application servers. Goodbye endpoint-management headaches!

An often overlooked application that uses the Java plug-in is the browser-based terminal emulator. For many medium to large companies, as well as numerous government agencies, terminal emulators are a mission-critical necessity. For years, these applications have used the Java plug-in to provide access to mainframes and other host systems from within a browser that supports the plug-in.

The question for IT right now is this: “What’s your plan to transition off the Java plug-in for terminal emulation access?”

It’s a question you may have to grapple with sooner rather than later because of the release of Windows 10. More and more companies are looking to move to this new platform. But the Edge browser that comes with it does not support Java plug-ins. Yes, you can run IE on Windows 10, but essentially you are poking holes in your secure browser-based access by using this older technology.  Not to mention the headaches that IT will continue to have when applying security updates, which Oracle won’t continue to support forever.

There is an easy solution. Micro Focus now offers Reflection ZFE, a terminal emulator built on the advanced technology of HTML5. With Reflection ZFE, you can deliver browser-based host access efficiently and securely with a true zero-footprint client designed to reduce IT costs and desktop management time.

Our 2.0 release of Reflection ZFE delivers many great new features, including support for:

  • Unisys hosts (UTS)
  • IND$FILE
  • Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Automated sign-on for mainframe applications
  • Reflection for the Web Profile Import
  • VBA and VBA macros

Learn more about our HTML5 terminal emulation solution.

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