Vendors that rely on Java applets for their terminal emulation need to prepare for the removal of browser support or face dire consequences, says Flynet

3 August 2016

Application vendors and users need to evaluate pure HTML alternatives and put solutions in place before they lose access to their business critical applications

With the upcoming end of Java support in major internet browsers, business leaders face significant risk to their IT infrastructures which rely upon Java applications. Without taking steps to mitigate this, businesses could face severe business continuity issues says enterprise software company Flynet.

Towards the end of 2015, a number of major consumer and business web browsers (including Firefox, Chrome and Oracle) announced that they would no longer be supporting plugins like Java or Silverlight from the end of 2016. While such plugins have traditionally been used to give organisations access to their legacy applications on a variety of browsers and devices, they have come to present unacceptable security vulnerabilities, stability issues and performance drawbacks in recent years.

However, this move could cause havoc among businesses who rely upon Java applications to sustain their business. For those using a java based terminal emulator to connect to legacy hardware such as mainframes, IBM I, Unix, MultiValue, VAX, VMS and PICK, this removal of Java support could completely prevent application access. This problem is particularly acute for application vendors who cannot dictate the timescale of their customer’s browser updates.

Christian Rule, director of business transformation at Flynet, urges businesses to consider moving to pure HTML terminal emulation solutions as soon as possible to prevent disruption:

“Over the past month or so, we’ve been hearing a lot of concerns about the upcoming removal of Java support from our customers and clients. While the news was announced a little while ago, many businesses are only now recognising how devastating the change could be to their organisations. Many did not realise that their terminal emulators relied so heavily on Java applets, or the infancy of many vendors’ HTML alternatives. Over the past couple of months we have been receiving increasingly urgent calls from application vendors seeking a robust, established HTML solution. If large swathes of your infrastructure is built to operate with Java applications, how can potential customers use your applications properly, or how can your internal systems operate as they ought to? This is a significant danger to businesses that, sadly, many have been slow to position themselves against.

“It is imperative that organisations operating on legacy hardware, especially ‘big iron’ mainframe systems, audit their business to discover Java applets that could cause their business serious problems over the next couple of months. A typical evaluation, procurement and implementation cycle to move from a java based emulator to a HTML emulator takes at least three months, so it is vital organisations engage in the cycle at the earliest opportunity!”

Businesses need to turn to proficient software providers to help bridge the gap posed by Java applications on their IT infrastructures. Pure HTML emulators are the obvious choice for businesses wanting to deliver their applications to a variety of browsers and devices.

Christian concluded: “Our own Flynet Viewer terminal emulator was designed to be 100% pure HTML. We have been delivering pure web solutions for over 20 years and our terminal emulator has passed a thorough penetration test by KPMG. Flynet Viewer can enable businesses to access their legacy applications, maintaining functionality without relying upon Java applets moving into the future. It is vital that businesses turn towards solutions to protect their IT against the lack of Java applet support to ensure business continuity, as well as future proofing their applications.”

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