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Screensurfer supports "Host Access Middleware" web gateway functionality for ColdFusion and ASP-based Application Server clients. This provides both formatted data calls as well as "pass-through" capabilities. If ColdFusion or ASP is acting as the primary application server, Screensurfer's granular pass-through and screen formatting capabilities may be exploited either with the "pass-through" capability or through integration at the client using HTML frames.
For ColdFusion applications executing at the ColdFusion application server, a special CFX tag extension (the CFX_Surfer tag) is available. This allows the ColdFusion developer to specify the Screensurfer transaction to call as well as the input values. Existing Screensurfer customers can download the latest CFX_Surfer tag installation program from the Inventu Support "Releases" section.
For ASP (ActiveX Server Pages) applications executing as part of a Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), a special COM component, the SSurfer.ASPRequest ASP Component provides Screensurfer integration. This allows an ASP developer to specify a Screensurfer transaction to call as well as embed returned values from active host screens anywhere in an ASP page. Existing Screensurfer customers can download the latest ASPRequest installation program from the Inventu Support "Releases" section.
At the Screensurfer side, a facility in the <TESECTION> tag has declared a "transaction path". A transaction path is a URL specification that enables Screensurfer to associate a specific URL with a SurferScript section. Using the declared paths, Screensurfer connects the request from ColdFusion or ASP with the corresponding SurferScript.
Screensurfer's Remote Procedure Call
Once a transaction has been defined and associated with SurferScript in the <TESECTION> tag, the Screensurfer developer uses a number of specific host session actions (using the <TEACTION> tag) to connect to a session, navigate to information and then read information from the screen.
The Screensurfer developer is able to quickly define the returned data elements (along with the names of those elements) using the <TEDECLARE ROW> tag. The row that is defined can then be returned as either a simple set of values or as a table consisting of multiple rows. Each call from the client, whether it originate from a ColdFusion CFX tag or an ASP Component, can have multiple results returned. When multiple results are returned, each is given its own QUERY Result in ColdFusion and its own RecordSet in the SSurfer.ASPRequest component.
Defining a row of data enables the return of named data elements to the co-server application. In addition Screensurfer supports "passing-through" any SurferScript HTML possible in a direct Screensurfer connection. This enables the SurferScript author to provide entire, properly formatted screens (or areas of screens) to the co-server applicaition as a single attribute of a query/recordset. This is achieved using the <TERESULT HTML> tag.
For ASP applications, a default .ASP page (/surfer/form/default.asp) is provided that can provide development-free pass-through for any number of screens not relevant to the ASP application; at any time, the ASP applicaiton can "take control" when the Screensurfer application signals that a screen accessed by the user is relevant.
By passing a simple text value, the SessionKey, between Cold Fusion or ASP and Screensurfer, the multiple server environments can be integrated at the user's browser using frames or other techniques. This enables some functionality to be delivered as an integrated CF/ASP/Screensurfer application while other functionality is delivered as default passthrough or enhanced passthrough directly from Screensurfer.