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International Journal for Research and Development in Engineering (IJRDE) Vol.1: Issue.

2, October-November 2012 pp- 1-6


(Tata Consultancy Services, India)

Attractive interfaces and security aspects go hand in hand in modern day mobile and web applications. Hence we ventured out to implement these concepts in the mainframe CICS environment (known as BIG IRON). Circle interface provides a rich visual interface and also has an added advantage which helps the user to know the most recently and the most frequently accessed application/page. The features such as security image and password locking covers the security aspects of our application. This kind of application offers an efficient and secure package to the user which helps in achieving customer delight. Hence in this paper we have provided our inputs for developing user-friendly yet secure interface which enables mainframe to be used for various front end applications. Keywords: Circle interface, Effective GUI, Application security, User-friendly application, CICS application.

on the design of an interface. Designing an efficient and attractive interface poses a big challenge in the design and development of any application. The look and feel of the interfaces revolutionized with dawn of the new concepts like Circle Interfaces. The introduction of circle interface has helped the user directly enter a desired application skipping the cumbersome process of traverse through multiple screens before ending up at the desired location/page. In short, it provides an eagles view of the various options that are available in an application with no/minimal user inputs. Thus Circle interface provides a simple, easy and rich visual interface which is both pleasing and logical and hence serve as an excellent communication tool. The success stories of some of the leading pioneers in the field of Circle Interface like Apple and Google+ bear witness for its critical acclaim. 1.2. Safe and Secure GUI: Additionally providing a safe and secure application is also the need of the hour. With this in mind, to make the mainframe more

1.1. Effective GUI: The gaining importance of effective GUI amongst the consumers has imposed a thrust

International Journal for Research and Development in Engineering (IJRDE) secure, we have implemented a security image which mimics the CAPTCHA environment used in most of the current generation web applications. The image which is captured during registration is verified in forgot password screen to check for credibility of the user, thereby tagging security to the mainframe application. The concept of locking the username and password when a user tries to login with the wrong credentials more than thrice ensures that the application is hack-free. Hence, in the current work, we have tried to implement the circular interface in the mainframe environment which has an added advantage of being safe and secure which helps the user experience trust. 2. Algorithms: Here is an example of implementation of circular interface and security concepts in Mainframe. Our sample application consists of the following four options: Addition Subtraction Menu Welcome Vol.1: Issue.2, October-November 2012 pp- 1-6 taken for the implementation of circular interface: Step 1: Depiction of various options on the home page (as shown in Figure 4.1). Step 2: Determining the cursor positions for each option and providing the feature that when ENTER key is pressed the program checks for the cursor position and the application which is currently present in that position (as shown in Figure 4.2), and shifts the control to the corresponding program. Conditional return is maintained so as to retain the control is in the first program. Step 3: Once the control has been passed to the respective program, calculations are performed according to the requirements of the map/program and when F3 is pressed the control returns to the main program with a different commarea. For example, if the control returns form Welcome page, it possess 'ABC2' as its commarea value. Step 4: Upon returning to the main program, depending on the commarea the most recent map accessed is placed at the top by moving the labels and the number of times the map is accessed is stored in the map_count table in the database to keep track of the frequently accessed page/map(as shown in

The home page displays the above mentioned options in a circular menu and the user can enter any desired page/application by clicking on the appropriate icon. The following steps are

International Journal for Research and Development in Engineering (IJRDE) Figure 4.3). Note that the conditions for EIBCPOSN have changed (as shown in Figure 4.4) corresponding to the changes in the label position. Step 5: Step 2 to 4 are repeated every time ENTER key is pressed. Also every time the main screen updates the number of times the map has been accessed after the transaction. This detail is fetched from the table map_count. The security aspects of the application are implemented by incorporation of the image capturing technique (as shown in Figure 4.5) during new user registration and validating the image for its name and number in the forget password page. Figure 4.6 shows the user registration page wherein a new user selects an image and assigns a name to it. Later, when the user tries to reset his password in addition to validating the emailid, the user's credibility is checked for by asking him/her to reenter the image number and name. If the entered name and image matches that provided during registration, the user is allowed to reset his/her password. In addition to this feature, a secure environment to the application was added by Vol.1: Issue.2, October-November 2012 pp- 1-6 providing a mechanism for locking the account when the user tries to login with the wrong credentials more than thrice. Hence all these features together ensure that the application is safe, secure and presentable. 3. Applications: A pleasant, attractive and secure GUI has now become an integral component of any application. Hence, this innovative interface possesses the inherent ability to fit into wide range of day to day applications. Some striking scenarios includes the use of Circle Interface as the GUI in ATMs (ease of access), as a replacement for the conventional drop-down list in networking sites (improved presentation logic), as menu tool for small screen devices (efficient space management). Its relatively simple design enables both a novice and an expert user experience ease in accessing application. Moreover, the salient features of the application qualify it to be used for situations which demand security. Thus the application helps in providing a userfriendly, robust and visually enriched interface. 4. Figures:

International Journal for Research and Development in Engineering (IJRDE) Vol.1: Issue.2, October-November 2012 pp- 1-6

Figure 4.1: Screen depicting the circle interface in a mainframe environment

Figure 4.2: Condition for navigation based on cursor position

International Journal for Research and Development in Engineering (IJRDE) Vol.1: Issue.2, October-November 2012 pp- 1-6

Figure 4.3: Condition for placing the recently accessed page/option at the top

Figure 4.5: Security image capturing during registration

International Journal for Research and Development in Engineering (IJRDE) Vol.1: Issue.2, October-November 2012 pp- 1-6

Figure 4.6: Security image validation for forget password We would like to thank our technical lead Mr. Robin Tommy who was instrumental in helping us with our project work. 7. References: [1]. Le Bert, CICS Essentials for Application Developers and Programmers [2]. Meier et al, Improving Web Application Security: Threats and Countermeasures, Microsoft patterns & practices, June 2003

5. Conclusion: The scope of mainframe is endless. Exploring its potential will lead to implementation of mainframes for a variety of useful front end applications. This will be of great benefit to the user as it provides a combination of larger memory, high processing speed and user-friendly interface. Further enhancements to the current application such as provision for username, password and database encryption would further enhance its applicability. 6. Acknowledgments: