An open network system for supporting input/output (I/O) operations for non-standard I/O devices are disclosed. The system includes a server coupled to a plurality of I/O devices through an open network and an extended open system protocol that supports communication with devices that are not personal computers (PCs). These devices include magnetic stripe readers, check readers, smart card readers, credit card terminals, screen phone terminals, PIN pads, printers, and the like. The extended open network protocol includes tags which identify device and input operations and attributes which identify the location, data exchange method, and data variable names for the retrieval, acquisition, and submission of data between the server and I/O devices. Preferably, the open network protocol is implemented in a Hyper Text Transport Protocol (HTTP). Preferably, the system includes a common gateway interface (CGI) at the server which converts protocol statements communicated between the server and I/O devices to application language statements for providing data to an application program coupled to the server. Most preferably, the application statements and protocol statements are constructed in integrated statements with an editor. The editor ensures that data identifiers in the application and protocol statements are compatible. The integrated statements are then parsed by the editor to segregate the protocol statements from the application statements. The protocol statements are downloaded in a file to a client program at an I/O device for processing. The application statements are stored in a file for use by the application. In this manner, generation of the files for client and application processing are automatically done without the user ensuring the correlation of the data fields in the two files.