screen scraper

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screen scraper

A piece of software used to automate interaction between two computer systems through the terminal interface (designed for human use) of one of those systems.

Typically, the screen scraper interacts with terminal emulation software to generate input to and process output from the "host" system through terminal screens. Screen scrapers are advantageous when modifications to the host system are undesireable, when it is desireable to make use of the existing business and data integrity logic on the host, and when no other (peer-to-peer) interface method is available.

Some products employ screen scraping combined with additional functionality which provides a DBMS-like or other specialised interface to the host. The host system is often called a "legacy system" because it usually the older of the systems involved and based on older technology.

screen scraper

(1) Software that automatically extracts and saves data from interactive screens without user intervention. This type of screen scraper was used primarily to capture data displayed on earlier character-based terminals. See character based.

(2) Software that automatically extracts data from HTML pages or other documents that are normally viewed interactively (see screen scraping).

(3) Also called "frontware," this screen scraper added a graphical user interface (GUI) to earlier character-based mainframe and minicomputer applications. The software ran in the user's computer, which connected to the mainframe or mini via the network or terminal emulation. See terminal emulation.
References in periodicals archive ?
s (NYSE: SSW) Frontware Division announced today it has changed its name to the Desktop Integration Division.
Gartner estimates that 85 per cent of existing applications will migrate to a form of client/server through the use of Frontware, partial rewrites, salvaging or complete replacement.
s (NYSE:SSW) Frontware Division today announced a new release, Release 3.
This is the first release from the recently-formed Frontware Division, which was created to provide improved service for STAR:Flashpoint customers, offering them a single location for all product support.
STAR:Flashpoint is designed to help customers take advantage of their current client/server or host applications and integrate them onto the desktop," said Michael Ciocia, president of the Frontware Division.
Sterling's Frontware Division has added several key features to STAR:Flashpoint with the new release.
o Frontware Division - Based in Redwood City, Calif.
Centralization of these shared legacy interfaces makes support and maintenance much more cost-effective than PC-based frontware tools.