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The customization of a Screensurfer gateway is performed using standard ASCII template files containing a mixture of standard HTML, Screensurfer's SurferScript HTML tags and SurferScript logic tags.
Screensurfer template files, which contain the customization information, can be created by developers using any standard ASCII editor, or a specialized HTML editor such as Allaire's HomeSite. In addition, template files may be rapidly generated using the Screensurfer DevCenter Wizards
(Template Generation Scripts).
The Default Emulation Page
Screensurfer 3270-to-HTML and 5250-to-HTML emulation is provided completely through Screensurfer's customization architecture. This includes default pass-through screens which have not been identified to Screensurfer. These "default" screens are still customizable on a general level in terms of overall HTML page layout, header and footer graphics and so on.
Screensurfer default page customization is achieved by editing the global.stml file, and updating the text block identified by the special tag <TESECTION DEFAULT>.
When using the SSurfer.ASPRequest ASP Component, the default emulation page is typically passed-through the /surfer/form/default.asp page, provided by the installation program of the SSurfer.ASPRequest component.
In SurferScript, the <TESECTION> tag is the general identification for individual blocks of HTML which are associated with a screen display event, a web event (URL starting with /surfer/) or simply available to be included by other blocks of SurferScript.
In this example, the HTML section has a special name of global.default. The Screensurfer runtime code will "execute" the HTML and SurferScript in the global.default section any time it encounters a host screen not declared and customized by a screen-event TESECTION, thus the name global.default.
Screen Identification; Screen-Event TESECTIONS
To customize a specific Host Screen, you identify the screen using attributes of the <TESECTION> tag. For more information on how screens are identified, see The TESECTION Tag.
Once a screen is identified in a section, whenever that screen is recognized by Screensurfer, the HTML and SurferScript contained in that section will be executed and sent to the user at the browser.
Web User Input
The Screensurfer developer is able to execute additional SurferScript following submission of the HTML page by the web user. This is achieved using the <TEEVENT WEBINPUT> tag. For example, if data validation is desired prior to submitting the screen to the host, it can be performed at this point, with a return page to the user indicating any errors.
User input data can also be saved in SurferScript variables for use on later screens. For example, when a user enters a particular department number on one screen, that same number can be saved and re-entered for the user on future screens where it makes sense.
Simple Screen Enhancements
Simple enhancements include adding header and footer help and graphics, converting displayed text to links, displaying links for buttons to access program function keys (PF keys), replacing terminal-oriented "tips" with browser-oriented tips and so on. In general, simple enhancements maintain the existing screen format, as this avoids redesign of the page.
Host screens can also be completely re-designed, with formatting which works better in the virtually scrollable and media-rich environment of the web browser. Prompts and descriptions can be expanded to provide more complete information about data being displayed or entered by the user. Hypertext links may be added to provide HTML-based help.
One simple re-design is to take all entry fields and reformatting them into a one or two column HTML table, with descriptive text, help and other adjunct information positioned appropriately for each field. This format becomes ideal for casual or completely untrained users.
Combining information from multiple screens
It is easy to combine information from multiple screens using the <TEACTION ENTER> tag, as this will perform an enter action against the host screen and make the next screen available for output in the HTML stream. This can be particularly useful for lists that span multiple host screens but which can fit easily on a single web page.
Reformatting repeating rows
When a screen has multiple rows which have a repeating format (for example, a list of items satisfying a search or query), the <TELOOP> tag can be used to iterate a row "pointer" variable through the target rows. This can be used to quickly convert a screen area of multiple rows into a neatly formatted HTML table with multiple rows and cells of data.