h3270 is a program that allows you to use IBM 3270 hosts from within a web browser. It is different from other, similar systems because of its highly configurable layout engine that is based on regular expressions.

Classical mainframe applications are still part of the IT infrastructure of most large enterprises. The challenge is often to integrate them with more recent, browser-based systems. h3270 allows you to do that in two steps:

  • It renders 3270 host screens in HTML and makes them operable from within a web browser. This process works out of the box in a simple, character-based layout that resembles the original terminal screen. Optionally, the layout can be enhanced using a configurable engine so that it looks and feels like a real web application.
  • The HTML adapter is available both as a servlet and a portlet, so that it can be used either as a stand-alone web application, or inside a portal server, which allows for seamless integration with other applications at the user interface level.
h3270 is a server-side Java application that is compliant with the J2EE standard and the Portlet API (JSR-168). To access the 3270 data stream, it uses the s3270 program written by Paul Mattes, which in turn relies on the TN3270 format to access the host via Telnet (TCP/IP).

A white paper with some further technical information about h3270 is available.


2007-03-02 h3270 version 1.3.3 released.

The change to the keyboard handling model that we made in version 1.3.2 has shown to be insufficient (screens with no input fields did not accept input in h3270 anymore). In this release, the keyboard handling model is changed again so that it should deal well with any such situations.

For details, see the release notes.

2006-12-13 h3270 version 1.3.2 released.

A new feature in this release is that you can now have multiple h3270 sessions open at the same time, from the same browser. This works both in the servlet version (where you can have multiple h3270 windows or tabs open), and in the Portlet version (multiple h3270 portlets on the same page).

For details, see the release notes.

2006-06-13 h3270 version 1.3.1 released.

This release adds support for some 3270 extended attributes (colors and highlighting). The generated HTML should now be XHTML-compliant. Several bugs were fixed. Thanks to all who contributed code to this release.

2005-12-06 h3270 version 1.3 released.

The most notable change is that h3270 now comes with a portlet that is compliant with the JSR-168 Portlet API. You can deploy it to any compliant portal server such as Jetspeed or the IBM WebSphere Portal Server. We are also working on an h3270 IView for the SAP Portal Server, and provide some alpha-quality code for it in the current release. The original stand-alone web application continues to exist as well. For details, please see the release notes.

2005-06-15 h3270 version 1.2.3 released.

This is an update release which fixes a few layout problems and includes updated documentation. There is a small new feature that may be interesting for many users: You can now restrict h3270 so that users can only connect to a single host with it. See the release notes for details.

2005-05-31 Numerous updates to this web site. Among other things, notice the new Firefox logo on the left. While we make every effort to keep h3270 compatible with every browser on the market, most of our testing is done using Firefox, and we recommend it as our browser of choice.

2004-12-05 Due to popular demand, binary packages for GNU/Linux and Windows have been added to the 1.2.2 release (see Download link on the left). The filenames are h3270-1.2.2-bin-linux.tgz and h3270-1.2.2-bin-windows.zip, respectively. They contain a vanilla Tomcat 5.0.28 installation with h3270 deployed into it as a web application. Included is a pre-built binary of s3270 for the respective architecture. For documentation and source code, please keep using the full download, h3270-1.2.2.tar.gz or h3270-1.2.2.zip.

2004-12-01 h3270 version 1.2.2 released.

This is a maintenance release without any new features. h3270 properly ignores extended attributes now (which we don't support yet). The build process has been streamlined and the documentation has been updated.

2004-10-20 h3270 version 1.2.1 released.

This release fixes a bug. No new features were added.

2004-09-18 h3270 version 1.2 released.

see the release notes for details.

2004-07-26 h3270 version 1.2-pre1 released.

Since our initial release in December, we've learned that many people are happy with the character-based terminal emulation of h3270. They have no need for the more advanced, regex-based rendering engine. So we have spent some more work on the character-based mode, to make it behave like a real terminal emulator. This release adds the most crucial missing pieces: support for colors and multi-line input fields (see the release notes for details).

This is a prelease of the upcoming version 1.2. Since the data model inside h3270 changed considerably, we felt that people should be able to give it a try first, before we make the full release of 1.2.

Enjoy, and let us know what you think. The best forum for this is the h3270-devel mailing list. (Subscription link on the left.)

2004-04-13 h3270 version 1.1 released.

Our first release in December really attracted a small but growing community around h3270. Due to a lot of positive feedback, version 1.1 is a maintenance release that contains some minor new features mostly suggested by users. This includes:

  • All PC function keys are now passed to h3270 (some of them used to be intercepted by the browser or operating system).
  • Support for hidden, unmodifiable fields has been added.
  • The standard z/OS login screen can now be handled by h3270 (it contains a multiline field which we couldn't deal with before). There is no full support for multiline fields yet, but we plan that for the next release.
Enjoy, and please keep that feedback coming!
2003-12-11 h3270 version 1.0 released.
2003-12-05 SourceForge is reconfiguring their mailing list servers, and so our mailing lists h3270-announce and h3270-devel have not been created yet. We'd like to wait with the full release until they are there, and so we're postponing 1.0 until next week. Until then, anonymous CVS already gives you access to this code.
2003-12-03 The source is now available via CVS. Documentation updated, see Release Notes, Installation and User Guide. The actual 1.0 release will follow by the end of the week.
2003-11-28 Web site goes live. We are now sorting out the final bits and pieces and will make the first release available on 2003-12-03.
2003-11-25 Project registered at SourceForge.