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Case Study: BOScom's Jadvantage

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"Can I access, edit, and print from my iSeries or AS/400 application using my Web browser?" That's the question that Jadvantage answers with a resounding "Yes."

Jadvantage provides 5250 GUI emulation via a Web browser. No installation is required on the user side, and all user and session configuration is done via the server, which can reside directly on your reliable AS/400 or iSeries host or on a Windows NT/2000/XP PC.

An excellent remote access solution, the only requirement on the user side is a JVM 1.1 (or higher) Web browser in a Windows, Macintosh, or Linux environment. Jadvantage includes bi-directional security features (based on SSL encryption mechanisms), ensuring a safe and secure connection. Both self-signed and third-party certificates are supported, allowing customers to choose the most cost-effective solution. Jadvantage also supports native SCS printing and enables creation of custom printer drivers and distribution from a central point in the organization.

The built-in, user-friendly GUI toolbox allows transformation of AS/400 and iSeries applications into Web applications without touching the code! Green-screens are turned into function-rich and graphically pleasing interfaces via application of fonts, colors, and pictures; creation of tables, time-saving macros, and drop-down list boxes; replacement of texts with graphic action buttons; and hotlinks to HTTP and FTP sites and relevant pictures. With Jadvantage, you can cut down customization implementation time from months to minutes!

Most customers find the built-in picture viewer an excellent way to enrich their existing applications, increase usability, and reduce data entry errors. By simply creating a picture archive on the server, screen text can be linked to appropriate visuals (such as part numbers to catalogs, employee IDs to photos, and descriptions to schematics). There is no need for modification on the client side; once the graphic files have been appropriately named and uploaded to the Jadvantage server, they are instantly available to all the users who have been granted access to the session. New versions of the Jadvantage software are automatically passed on when the user first logs on to the server, thus keeping the total cost of ownership very low.

Jadvantage: A Tool for Many Reasons

Everyone has a different reason for using a tool, and organizations have chosen Jadvantage to solve different problems. Here's what three BOScom customers are doing with Jadvantage.

Equinox Software Systems: Shorten Software Sales Cycle

Based in a Northwest Chicago suburb, Equinox Software Systems, Inc. develops, markets, and supports an iSeries-based application for welding supply distributors. Clients span "Mom and Pop" shops to multi-million dollar companies. A unique characteristic of this industry sector is container rental; the Equinox solution includes 60 ways to calculate rental and usage fees. Since 1972, Equinox has steadily enhanced the software and incorporated new technology without losing sight of twin fundamentals: customer service and ease of use.

Perry Shukas, Vice President of Sales, uses Jadvantage to shorten the sales cycle by streamlining connectivity for online demos. Shukas notes the following benefits:

Time savings: "Until we found Jadvantage, setting up and conducting online demos with prospects was tedious and troublesome. We used PC Anywhere, so we first had to send prospects a copy to install on their PC, then step them through the installation and configuration, and then had to establish a dial-up connection between the machines. Sometimes we couldn't even connect. The time it took was a killer--literally days to complete the process," he recalls.

"Jadvantage quickly connects prospects, via their Web browsers, to a 5250 session on the Equinox iSeries," he says. "I can complete more demos now."

Ease of use: "With PC Anywhere, it was so cumbersome that it distracted them from our demo. It's not good when people are confused during your demo. There's a huge difference with Jadvantage: we simply check that their browser supports Java, and let them connect. They can sign on in 15 minutes now, versus hours or days before. Prospects are no longer frustrated by the set-up process and can focus on understanding the Equinox Software demo."

Security: "Security is built into Jadvantage; we don't have to worry when prospects connect to our iSeries. It's also more secure than using TCP/IP because we have our own firewall," Shukas adds.

KMS Computer Services: Web Access to Physician Management System

Since 1979, when KMS Computer Services first offered System/36 software for physicians' offices, the Kokomo, Indiana, firm has been a leader in providing full-service, turnkey medical practice management systems. Today, several hundred practices rely on KMS to meet their information management needs. Three years ago, as part of its commitment to keep up with evolving technology, KMS decided to add Internet connectivity to its AS/400-based solution.

Jadvantage was the right solution, determined Senior Analyst Danny Jewell after evaluating many products available on the market. "With Jadvantage, we found a simple solution that is easy to install on our customers' PCs without loading a lot of software on their machines, that meets the legislated security levels, and that we can manage and support remotely," Jewell states.

Some KMS customers run the Physicians' Management System on their own AS/400, while others rely on KMS as an application service provider (ASP). Both sets of customers find browser-based Internet access to their system convenient.

Implementing Jadvantage on the KMS server was literally a matter of minutes, Jewell recalls: "I simply followed the instructions in the manual. When we add user licenses, we just call BOScom support and have them give us an update key, and use their license program. We talk new users through setting up a shortcut on their desktop, walk them through their first log-on, and that's it."

"Whether it's a physician needing access to their database from home, or one of our ASP customers working with the patient's medical record or billing, they simply use their PC to connect," Jewell explains.

A big plus is how Jadvantage implements security, because current and future legislation on privacy is very strict in the medical field. "With a certificate on the server and certificate authentication of the client, Jadvantage security features meet the strict legislative 'chain of custody' requirements," Jewell adds.

In his R&D capacity, Jewell periodically surveys the solutions available on the market. "For Internet connectivity to AS/400 systems, Jadvantage is still the best price for available products, especially when compared to the difficulty of setting up competitive solutions," he concludes.

Asante Health System: Intranet and Internet Access to Hospital Census Data

Based in Southern Oregon, Asante Health System provides quality healthcare to the communities of southern Oregon and northern California. When Asante consolidated its medical system and sold off a dozen clinics, it still had to continue to give 200+ physicians access to the hospital census data. The physicians' offices use the patient census information for billing purposes, to accelerate cash flow and to check approvals. In addition to the physicians' offices, 81 departments and clinics at Asante's two hospitals also need to access the census.

Instead of installing 5250 emulation on each hospital or physician PC, Asante created a portal that allows each user to dial in over the Internet with their own browser. With Jadvantage, Asante is able to give each authorized user secure access to their census information on the AS/400.

Asante's Jon McCauley cites a number of benefits from implementing Jadvantage:

Cost savings: "Without a portal, we would have had to provide each of 218 physicians with 5250 emulation, at around $100 per PC. With Jadvantage, we just purchased one 50-user site license at a considerably lower cost."

Compactness: "Jadvantage is not a hard hit on the PCs; it doesn't consume a lot of PC resources."

Reliability: "We were already using the BOScom TCP/IP client emulation product and the BOScom e-Twin@x Controller, so we knew BOScom products were reliable, and they have outstanding support."

Ease of implementation: "We had considered designing an Internet site for the physicians, using IBM WebSphere and Lotus Notes, but decided against it because that would have taken too much work and too long to complete, not to mention maintain. With Jadvantage, we wrote a simple program for the AS/400 in CL and RPG. Then it just took a couple of hours to set up the portal with Jadvantage."

Ease of use: "With our portal, the doctors' staff signs on to the AS/400 just as they did in the past. They see a three-option menu that's easy to understand, and that takes them to the database they need."

Security: "Jadvantage's built-in SSL security ensures confidentiality of sensitive patient data."

Return on investment: "Our ROI was almost immediate, just in savings of the time it would have taken us to develop and maintain a Web site for the physicians, and the cost of putting emulation on each doctor's PC."

Martin Pladgeman is President of BOSaNOVA Inc., the U.S. Master Distributor of BOScom Jadvantage.


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BOSaNOVA, Inc.
BOScom Master Distributor
2021 W. Rose Garden
Phoenix, AZ 85027
Tel: 866-865-5250
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.bosweb.com

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