Browse Prior Art Database

Mail Watch for Os/2 1.2 3270 Sessions

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000121023D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-03
Document File: 5 page(s) / 244K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Seaburg, GP: AUTHOR

Abstract

A program is disclosed that allows a user of IBM Operating System/2* (OS/2*) Extended Edition Version 1.2 to be notified when incoming mail is received on an attached 3270 host session. With OS/2, the 3270 host sessions may not always be fully visible on the computer screen, so a user without Mail Watch has to periodically make the 3270 sessions visible to see if new mail has arrived. Mail Watch automates this process so the user no longer needs to check sessions manually -- the 3270 sessions may be kept minimized until the user needs them.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 49% of the total text.

Mail Watch for Os/2 1.2 3270 Sessions

      A program is disclosed that allows a user of IBM
Operating System/2* (OS/2*) Extended Edition Version 1.2 to be
notified when incoming mail is received on an attached 3270 host
session.  With OS/2, the 3270 host sessions may not always be fully
visible on the computer screen, so a user without Mail Watch has to
periodically make the 3270 sessions visible to see if new mail has
arrived.  Mail Watch automates this process so the user no longer
needs to check sessions manually -- the 3270 sessions may be kept
minimized until the user needs them.

      With the advent of OS/2, users may have many programs executing
on a single computer system at one time, including 3270 terminal
emulator sessions connected to a remote host computer system.  With
the potential for a large number of programs to be running at the
same time, users need a way to keep track of each program.  Mail
Watch helps users keep track of incoming mail and messages on any
connected 3270 sessions.

      Mail Watch is a program which uses the OS/2 Emulator High-Level
Language Application Programming Interface (EHLLAPI) functions to
periodically scan 3270 emulator sessions, looking for various "mail
indicator" text strings. If any of these text strings are found, Mail
Watch changes its desktop icon so that it looks like an envelope.  It
optionally also produces a series of five (5) audible "beeps" in this
situation.  Fig. 1 shows a sample Mail Watch icon (second icon from
the right) indicating that mail is present on host session "a".

      If none of the indicator strings are found (indicating no mail
is present), Mail Watch displays the envelope with a "X" drawn
through the center, as illustrated in Fig. 2. If Mail Watch cannot
scan a particular 3270 session, it draws a "?"  in the center of the
envelope instead.  This can happen if another program is currently
using the EHLLAPI interface functions, as shown in Fig. 3.

      The Mail Watch icon can be configured to remain along the
bottom edge of the screen so that it is normally always visible.
Users need only glance at the Mail Watch icon to see if new mail has
arrived.  They no longer need to manually bring the 3270 session
window into view.

      Mail Watch uses the multi-threading capabilities of OS/2 to
monitor the 3270 host sessions' contents.  A main program thread of
exe cution handles all the typical system messages common to all
Presentation Manager* programs.  A separate execution thread uses the
EHLLAPI functions to connect to each available 3270 session, scan the
session for a number of "indicator" strings, and disconnect from the
session.

      Once the status of all sessions is determined, the monitoring
thread posts an internal message to the main program thread for
subsequent icon updating.

      After scanning all available 3270 sessions, the monitor thread
uses the OS/2 "sleep" function to remain idle for approximatel...