NebulaRemoteControl is the working name for a new product is getting close to a 1.0 release. Excerpts from the documentation are provided in this blog entry to explain what it is. Inquiries are welcome from site managers, VARs, and developers.
NebulaRemoteControl allows any MV DBMS server application to send messages to client PCs, regardless of whether the client UI is a browser, terminal emulator, or thick client using ODBC or other protocols.
The problem that is solved
Developers of MultiValue business application software frequently ask if it’s possible to control end-user client PCs. Most often the user interface is a browser or terminal emulator. The developer may want the server to control the client-side launch of another browser window, start one of the Microsoft Office applications, start an FTP transfer, or send email from the client PC rather than from the server.
NebulaRemoteControl was designed for environments where administrators are fully aware of the security concerns with access to and from untrusted servers, but they require client-side integration with their trusted intranet/extranet business application software. It doesn’t matter if the UI is a browser, thick client, ODBC tool, or terminal emulator – NebulaRemoteControl allows the MV DBMS server application, using pure Pick BASIC code, to retrieve and update data on the end-user PC, to run programs that generate data or perform other operations, and to get messages to any online users. ( A near-term enhancement will allow other servers to interact with the MV server without even logging in. )
NebulaRemoteControl allows the server to notify IT management of events anywhere in the enterprise where action is required, whether on a server or on end-user PCs. Remote MV DBMS and application support providers can be notified of issues with code failures or data corruption. End-users can be notified of transaction details while they’re still in their primary UI, in cooperation with existing software. Business management can be alerted to unusual business activity like open support calls, low or high volume of orders, new flags set for customer credit hold, out of balance conditions, short inventory, or other events.
How it works
NebulaRemoteControl sits in the PC tray like any other Windows application, polling one or more servers for instructions. The request is made using Web Services to a main server, and then routed to the appropriate MV DBMS server. When a request is received, a familiar BASIC subroutine is called, passing in user information. The BASIC code, completely under the control of the local developers, decides what action to take for that specific user at that time. Does the user need to be notified of some event that just occurred while they’re still working in their primary UI? Does the application require data from that user’s PC before continuing with other processing? Did the user make a request in their primary UI to launch another application? Based on server-side information and security, the BASIC code will send back whatever information is required to display a message or take action – or send back nothing if there is nothing of interest for this user at this time.
This product is currently in a functional alpha state. Pricing and the v1.0 feature set are being discussed. Discussion is welcome with developers and people who provide support for one or more end-user sites to assess the feature-set and value of the offering. Please email to initiate discussion – or, feel free to post in the new section in our forum.
Thanks for your time.