It was only after the roll out of a commercial data collection / order fulfillment system that I realized that the selected software had technical short comings and user interface pitfalls. The software vendor was reluctant to make changes to their product due to the complexity, testing and cost. And since it was closed source, there was no avenue for a solution by making direct modifications myself.
The software in brief consists of a telnet server that serves up a text terminal interface to telnet client workstations and wireless RF hand held units. The back end of the software communicates with an Oracle application server which is also the database for the system. The challenge was to add features and streamline the user interface by creating a proxy server that sits between the clients and server. This proxy would change the behavior of the application as seen by the clients on the fly.
This paper will discuss the problems that were solved and the the benefits that accrued by using a TCL based proxy server application.