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PEEK Support for Datatel's Colleague UI (Wintegrate)


Version 1.12a of PEEK adds support for parsing of the special character streams used by Datatel's Colleague User Interface (UI). This product is based on the Wintegrate product and implements a GUI using character mode streams of characters.

This feature is fully compatible with the older versions of PEEK. All will work as it used to, and you can still PEEK on non-GUI users in the same manner as before this version was installed. Only when additional command line options are specified, as discussed below, will the new functionality be enabled.

The goal of this new feature is to enable administrators to PEEK on users of the GUI interface (UI). In this mode, you can get a good feel for what the user is doing, and what screen they are on. You will not see the exact same screen as the monitored user, however. That is because a great deal of what the UI is doing behind the scenes is done locally on the PC.

PEEK runs on the Unix host, and we only see the characters that are sent to or from Unix. So when the Wintegrate program on the PC does local things, such as mouse movements or scrolling through menus, the host does not know this, and PEEK will not reflect the same screens.

Keep the goal in mind: To get a good idea of what screens the user is on, and roughly the data being viewed, without locking up the screen of the user that is doing the monitoring. Because of this goal, you will be able to see the name of the menu that the user is running, and a special command allows you to pull this name up at any time while you are PEEKing on a user of the UI.

The GUI is designed around a series of rather complex Wintegrate scripts, all tied to a special set of extensions to the normal wyse50 command sequences. The PEEK enhancements parse these sequences to determine the menus that are being invoked and the overall processes that the user is running.

Using the GUI translation mode:

To use these features, install PEEK just like normal. Then, when you want to PEEK on a user of the GUI, first make sure that your TERM variable is set properly (at most sites, this will be set to wyse50). You, as the "peeker", do NOT need to be running Wintegrate. You can be running a terminal emulator that is wyse50 compatible such as Procomm PCPLUS.

To PEEK on a given user of UI in GUI mode, such as user "mary.doe", the full PEEK command is:

/etc/peek -u mary.doe -cvt -term wyse50

Note the use of the "-term wyse50" option is to specify the term type of the monitored user (not yours, necessarily). The "-cvt" and "-term" options are discussed in the PEEK manual.

There are many ways to shorten this command and to remove the need for the "-term" option. The ways to shorten the command are discussed below. But note also that at many sites, the PEEK command is not entered directly, but rather via a script. Using a script, it is possible to have the desired arguments entered automatically.

If all (or most) of the users you will monitor on your system are set up as wyse50 emulation, you can avoid typing the "-term wyse50" option by one of the following methods:

1) set an environment variable of USER_TERM to wyse50. You can set this in your .profile to make sure this is always in effect.


2) set up a file in /etc called term_types with the terminal types by device, and to just set a system wide default of wyse50, use just one line in /etc/term_types of:

   /dev/* wyse50

If you follow either of the above methods, the "-term" option is not needed on PEEK, so simply use:

/etc/peek -u mary.doe -cvt

Further examples and details on the use of the term_types file and the USER_TERM variable are in the PEEK manual in the section entitled "Converting Between Dissimilar Terminal Types".

Extra command available:

When you follow the above and PEEK on a user of the UI version of Colleague, you will see a good deal of what the user is doing, but you might not be sure what menu they are in. This information is displayed when they switch screens, but it can scroll off of your screen.

At any time when you are PEEKing on the user, if you type a <ctrl-W> (W as in Wintegrate) the name of the current menu will be displayed.

Another handy command is <ctrl-L>, which causes PEEK to redisplay its buffer of the user activity. This can be handy if you missed something that happened earlier.

POKE functionality:

The UI (GUI) software runs a great deal of the interface on the user's PC, and not on the Unix host, as discussed earlier. Because of this, poke functionality when you are PEEKing on a UI user is rather limited. Poke mode still works, and still sends keystrokes to the Unix session, but the PC will not know that the keystrokes have been sent, because the PC is not monitoring the host while the GUI is active; it is looking at the user keyboard only. Therefore, the host will respond to the keystrokes but the PC may not reflect the current screen.


Please read the above descriptions and caveats about how Wintegrate works to get a good idea of the functionality in this mode. If you have questions not addressed above, don't hesitate to ask via email to or call 630/941-7767.

Copyright (c) 2005 Computronics. All rights reserved.