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FMS and Web Forms?

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The Question is:

We currently have an application that relies of forms developed years ago with
 FMS.  Is there any migration path for taking FMS form to DECForms and
 eventually an option for web-based presentation of forms data?
In other words, we'd like to convert our existing FMS based forms presentation
 in character cell terminals to a technology such as HTML forms, javascript,
 java, ASP, etc.  What options do we have?

The Answer is :

  The European Compaq Services organization offers a DIGITAL Web Forms
  package -- this package is a web connector for FMS customers.
  As for other approaches top this, basic HTML (CGI) coding and output
  is trivially easy.  Coding with Java and JavaScript involves slightly
  more effort.
  As you move toward the web, you will quickly enter a quagmire of
  conflicting capabilities, features, bugs, and opinions -- while the
  more modern forms presentation technologes are clearly inviting,
  they are far from a panacea and there can be substantial hidden
  costs involved.
  If you do decide to move toward the web for your application, you
  will want to consider and to decide upon the following:
    a: why are you doing this?
       Consider the value added, and consider the direct and
       indirect costs.
    b: What web features do you want to use?
       Consider the details of your audience, consider the costs
       that are entailed with the different clients involved.
       At present, there are a plethora of conflicts among the
       capabilities of the clients.
    c: what features do you expect the client to have?  Some
       folks trust Javascript and Java, some do not.  There are
       differing versions and differing capabilities and
       differing bugs.
    d: do you expect to require the client to have specific
       tools?  These requirements can have affects on your
       external customer base, on your internal configuration
       requirements and costs, and on your support costs.
    e: which of the potentially conflicting web standards do you
       ascribe to?
    f: do you want to use technologies such as XML?
    g: how do you handle the migration between your current
       and your new environment?
    h: how do you design your application and your environment
       such that when "the next big UI trend" arrives, you can
       more easily migrate to it?  This applies to your
       application, and to the tools and the components you
       are dependent upon.
  The portability of your business logic and your data are critical,
  as are the costs of the existing and the new environment.  Given
  that you are using FMS, you are clearly comfortable using older
  interfaces and older designs.  Consider what you will gain with
  the new designs, and what you risk.

answer written or last revised on ( 19-OCT-2001 )

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