For those that feel Windows CE-based systems are overkill, wireless Linux data collection devices
can provide streamlined, real-time inventory control with savings up to $1,000 per terminal
As the Wal-Marts of the world increasingly press suppliers for real-time inventory tracking, the pressure gets passed
right down the supply chain.
Warehouse and distribution managers who responded by turning to wireless data collection systems for faster, more
accurate inventory control, however, have another problem. As the original, DOS-based terminal emulation systems
they've relied on wear out, or are phased out by manufacturers, they've been pressured to turn to more costly, complex Windows-CE based systems.
But industry professionals are discovering that a Linux-based drop-in replacement for these old DOS devices running
terminal emulation clients, produced by companies such as Euless, Texas-based AML, provides real-time access to
inventory applications, without the "unnecessary bells and whistles" of Windows-CE based systems. Savings can
approach $1,000 per terminal.
"We've saved about 30 percent of our total cost of operation with Linux-based terminal emulation devices instead of a Windows-based system, says Dennis Dominioni, IT Director of Power & Telephone Supply Co. (Power & Tel), an
independent distributor of telecom and cable TV material.
"While Windows is fine for sales or customer relationship management-type applications, it was overkill for our inhouse
supply logistics needs," explains Dominioni. "We have to invest in the most cost-effective technology to be the
most cost-effective supplier."
Making the Right Choice
For the millions of corporate users who access, manage and maintain connections to business applications and data
via IBM mainframe computers, AS400 midrange servers and VT hosts, terminal emulation is often the simplest, most
economical way to access these legacy systems. Terminal emulation, using software to make a computer perform
like a hardware terminal, is the main method used to deploy mainframe-based applications to mobile data capture