What is terminal emulation?
Terminal emulation is the ability to make a particular computer look like a terminal or client computer that is networked to a server or mainframe.
Today, this is often done using software to access data or programs on the server or mainframe that are usually only available to the end device to be emulated.
A terminal emulation program works like any other application. However, if you are emulating an older terminal or mainframe, the interface can only be text.
Some well-established companies (banks, insurance companies, and governments) may have decades-old programs that run on mainframes. The terminals are long out of date, but are now emulated by terminal emulation software that can access applications on mainframes that are still in use.
Many terminal emulators have been developed for different terminals. Some examples are VT220, Data General D211, Sperry / Unisys 2000 series UTS60, ADDS ViewPoint, and Wyse 50/60. Some terminal emulation software actually emulates other software emulation programs. Examples are xterm and many Linux console terminals. Other software only emulates one standard (like ANSI) - found on many operating systems such as DOS, Unix, and GUI operating systems such as Windows and MAC.