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PL/B Web Server

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With the introduction of the Sunbelt PL/B Web Server, current Visual PL/B and PL/B:Unix customers can take immediate advantage of the Internet or their local intranet as a new medium of communication to implement HTML5 technology. The benefits of HTML5 include availability on nearly any internet enabled device that supports HTML5 via a browser, a reduced cost of ownership and increased flexibility for both the user and the enterprise. However, ease of management and lower cost of deployment are not the big reasons this technology. The principle aim is reduced Total Cost of Ownership that includes not only the up-front cost of hardware, but the much higher prices of installing, securing, supporting, and updating the entire system over time.

The PL/B Web Server provides a runtime that translates the user interface instruction processing (KEYIN, DISPLAY, PRINT, FORMLOAD, etc.) to HTML5 web pages that run on a client device. Programs execute exactly as expected although there are some limitations imposed by the environment. This unique two tier configuration can extended into three tiers by adding the Sunbelt Data Manager.


Three components make up the PL/B Web Server suite:

  1. The PL/B Web Server Engine is deployed and configured on the host server. The host server may be either Windows or Unix based. Either a Windows or Unix server can host both graphical and/or character based applications. The application code (programs) should be on this server and data files may also be on this server.
  2. The client can be a browser that supports HTML5. The client can be also be the PlbWebCli App for iOS, Android, or Windows.
  3. The client and host communicate via TCP/IP. Thus, both machines must be configured to support this protocol.


Once the Web Server is installed on the host machine, all that remains to be done is point the browser to the Web Server via a URL string. A TCP/IP connection is made to the server and the PL/B application begins. All program object code and data remain on the server and is totally secure from prying eyes.


The benefits of thin client computing with the PL/B Web Server include:

  • Deployment - Since only an HTML5 browser is required remotely, deployment of applications is done on the local server. No PL/B programs or data files are installed remotely and no wasted time traveling to remote sites or worries that the remote site is running an outdated version of the application. To deploy a new application or upgrade, simply copy the files to the server.
  • Security - The browser communicates with the Web Server via the TCP/IP protocol. The server can be configured to limit access to specific remote addresses. Additionally, the communication protocol between the client and the server is encoded and compressed. Also in the case of a LAN, using the Client/Server model means that you do not need a network share to the drives where the programs and/or data reside, which further restricts needless access to sensitive data to those that do not need that access.
  • Scalability - The Web Server provides a degree of scalability not seen before. Small remote offices can access corporate data without the need for complicated servers or communication devices, system administrative costs, or additional personnel. The corporation can rest assured that the valuable data is secure and available to authorized users. Large enterprise users can employ additional servers as needed to support new applications or additional users.
  • Programming - The most revolutionary aspect of the PL/B Web Server is that there is little or no programming required to implement the Web Server solution. Existing programs may execute without even a recompile. Realistically, some of the GUI objects and methods that were available on Windows are not available in browsers. The PL/B Designer has been enhanced to allow you to export your existing .PLF Forms into .PWF forms, removing in the process objects and methods that are not supported by HTML5. Future releases will see some of these objects and/or methods being reinstated as HTML5 is enhanced.
  • Performance - Communication messages are compressed and intelligently buffered to aid the overall performance.
  • Additional Return on Investment - Most corporations have a tremendous investment in application software. With the Web Server, that investment is preserved while transitioning to web clients. There is no new language to learn, no files to be ported, and no "new way" of designing your applications. You also have the benefit of your application being available on nearly any internet enabled device that supports HTML5.

Take a free test drive of this exciting new product now. Download the complete product and try it in your environment for thirty days with no obligation. If that's too complicated, you can connect to our server and run the sample applications we have available. Either way, we think you'll be amazed at what the Sunbelt Web Server can do.

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Last modified January 30 2023 10:00 by