December Industry News

Allen Systems’s Acquisitions

Allen Systems Group, Inc. (ASG) has completed two significant acquisitions. Included in these transactions are the assets of Manager Software Products, Inc (MSP) and two software products developed by Emprise Technologies, CATS and CSD/Auditor.

Building on their first half acquisitions of IMPACT and Firesign Computer Company, Allen Systems’ acquisition of MSP proved to be their largest acquisition to date. Headquartered in Amsterdam, MSP is the oldest and largest independent repository in the world. The MSP family of products manage information assets, such as system architecture, organizational structure, IT infrastructure, data and business process models. As a direct result of the acquisition, ASG has added more than 10 new products to its portfolio and 25 new employees. Moreover, ASG estimates an additional $10 million in revenues.

The transaction between ASG and Emprise includes only the CATS and CSD/Auditor products, which ASG will continue to distribute. ASG estimates a growth of $3 as a result of this transaction. Emprise, headquartered in Bridgeville, Pa., focuses on mainframe legacy systems and workstation technology and offers products in two primary market areas: transaction processing and distributed administration.

FRx Visual Reporting

FRx Software announced its membership into The Baan Certified Applications Partner Program (BaanCAPPS) for BaanERP Finance. With a direct interface to BaanERP Finance, over 4,000 Baan user sites will now be able to augment their Baan resources with the Baan-certified FRx Enterprise Edition. The FRx solution allows financial analysts to consolidate, develop and disseminate financial reports without burdening busy IT departments.

FRx Enterprise Edition allows financial analysts, without the assistance of programmers, to consolidate and analyze their financial statements and electronically distribute them to business line managers. These managers can drill down to account and transaction detail to easily examine the composition of summarized numbers. FRx Software and Baan deliver FRx Enterprise Edition directly accesses General Ledger information from BaanERP Finance, without using a data warehouse or proprietary database.

Sterling Strengthens Cisco Partnership

Sterling Software announced that its network diagnostic and performance management product, SOLVE:Netmaster for TCP/IP, has a certified Cisco Management Connection for the new CiscoWorks2000 product family. Included in SOLVE:Netmaster for TCP/IP are network diagnostic capabilities and performance analysis capabilities aimed at optimizing IP resources attached to an OS/390 system, such as Cisco routers and TN3270e Server connections.

SOLVE:Netmaster for TCP/IP improves IT organizations’ ability to manage enterprise OS/390 server-based TCP/IP environments to ensure more reliable access to key business applications. The product’s pro-active monitoring, diagnostic and performance management capabilities for network devices, events and sessions offer a comprehensive solution for identifying IP connection problems before they are detected by end users and resolving application access problems.

ADIC Sets New Benchmark

ADIC’s Tape Array 5, a high-speed, high-capacity DLT tape system, set a new industry benchmark in storage density. Designed for high-speed backup/restore of large data sets, the product’s five DLT tape drives provide up to 3 GB per minute (180 GB per hour) of throughput and 350 GB capacity in only five units of standard 19-inch rack space. When combined with standard RAID backup software packages, the Tape Array 5 provides multiple RAID/RAIT options for fault tolerance. Fault tolerance is also built into the unit with redundant cooling systems and redundant, hot-swappable power supplies.

Customers may populate the Tape Array 5 enclosure with as little as one drive, adding additional drives as capacity or throughput needs grow. Tape Array 5 is compatible with all leading NT, UNIX and Netware backup software packages, including MediaMirror, RAID 1 level software available from ADIC. The Tape Array 5 is available with 1-5 DLT4000 or DLT7000 drives through ADIC distributors.

OpenConnect Selects Bluestone

OpenConnect Systems and Bluestone Software have announced an exclusive agreement in which OpenConnect Systems will integrate Bluestone’s Sapphire/Web development and deployment environment with its WebConnect Enterprise Server Suite. The new OpenConnect solution will provide mainframe customers with an enterprise-ready solution that incorporates OpenConnect’s premier Web-based solution for traditional application access with Bluestone’s Sapphire/Web application server framework.

The integrated OpenConnect solution will incorporate Sapphire/Developer, Bluestone’s integrated development environment (IDE); Sapphire/Universal Business Server (UBS), Bluestone’s core application server architecture; and Sapphire/Application Manager (SAM), Bluestone’s application management system.

Solid State Speeds

Solid Data Systems’ Excellerator Ultra Family delivers a data access time of only 14 mircroseconds, approximately 1,000 times faster than typical magnetic disk drives. The Excellerator Ultra line can sustain Ultra SCSI data transfer rates of 40 MB/second in both sequential and random activity. The products scale up to 17.4 GB in a single system, which is more than twice the capacity of any other solid state storage system in the today’s market.

Solid Data has developed a patented Direct Addressing technology. With Direct Addressing, SCSI addresses received from the host are translated directly to DRAM array addresses. The translation uses high-speed dedicated circuits, eliminating intermediate microprocessor-to-insert latencies, overhead and time delays. In addition, with magnetic disk drives, actuator seek and rotational latency comprise 90 percent of the time that it takes to do a data transfer. With solid state storage, there are no mechanical parts, so the data transfer does not require time for seek or latency.

Y2K-Compliance Tops IT Priority List

A recent Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) survey reported that 44 percent of organizations have already experienced Y2K-related failures under actual operating conditions. Reacting to this critical IT need, NetVital Technologies has the comprehensive YEAR2000.EXE toolkit at work fixing millions of lines of COBOL code for a variety of corporate and governments organizations.

A complete COBOL toolset, YEAR2000.EXE consists of an intelligent COBOL Analyzer and Converter and related Impact Analysis and Validator programs. Cleaning at speeds of 100,000 lines of COBOL code per week, the YEAR2000.EXE toolset is a comprehensive group of modules taking an enterprise from initial assessment, through remediation, conversion, and finally supplying full conversion date simulation prior to actual deadline, all while providing detailed reports of each step.

Hummingbird JuMPs on Thin Client Management

JuMP, Hummingbird’s object-oriented management platform, is the core architecture of Hummingbird's Thin Client Connectivity solutions enabling enterprise administrators to deploy and manage any combination of thin clients for mainframe, midrange, and UNIX/X Window System connectivity. JuMP provides on-demand delivery of Hummingbird’s Java applets for TN3270E/TN5250E/Telnet terminal emulation and X Window application access to desktop web browsers.

The JuMP Management Platform features a component-based design that provides interoperability, compatibility and platform independence. JuMP is based on open industry standards, including TCP/IP, CORBA/IIOP and LDAP to ensure enterprise-wide scalability, easy implementation, and simple integration into existing networks. JuMP consists of three components:

* JuMP middle-tier management services - including scalability, access control for users and groups,

license metering, logging/auditing and a Web-based Applet Launcher.

* Integrated Web and LDAP Servers.

* Jconfig - a common Fat and Thin Client Management Interface.

1075 MIPS Millennium 800 Series Processors

Amdahl announced the availability of its Millennium 800 Series, the newest extension of the Millenium family of S/390 compatible CMOS processors. The Millennium 800 Series’ capacity at 1075 MIPS, makes it one of the highest capacity S/390 processor available with the cost-saving benefits of CMOS technology, featuring compact footprint and high-reliability with reduced maintenance costs. The Millenium family aims at S/390 workload consolidation with its exclusive Multiple Server Feature (MSF) which creates up to four discrete servers with unique serial numbers in a single footprint; thereby, optimizing the capacity required to perform mission-critical applications.

Educational Y2K Solution

RMM announced an educational version of Millennium Key, a JAVA-based Year 2000 code assessment, validation and remediation tool incorporating a patented universal programmer’s workbench approach. Millennium Key uses RMM-patented technology to coordinate remediation across mainframe, enterprise, and desktop applications and environments. It utilizes a Universal Language achieved via a variable definition file that enables programmers to work in any language.

The University System of Maryland (USM) Year 2000 Fellowship Program recently agreed to integrate Millennium Key into the current Year 2000 classes. USM’s Year 2000 Fellowship Program trains students of all ages in Y2K remediation and then makes the graduates available to businesses and government organizations around the country. After an intensive 5-week training period, the technicians go to work for up to two years for a competitive rate. Their employer also contributes a portion of this wage to a Fellowship Fund. After two years, the technicians have enough funding for four years of free tuition at any of the eleven USM schools.

Millennium Key’s educational version is available immediately from RMM for a $49.95 setup fee. Commercial introductory prices include: PC version at $2,000 for single user; $15,995 for ten-user license; $29,875 for 25-user license; additional users added at $995. The Internet version is $249 per month per seat. Corporate licenses and site licenses are available upon request.

Direct JDBC for DB2 Enterprises

HiT Software’s HiT JDBC/DB2 Enterprise includes JDBC drivers for DB2 and DB2/400 and the HiT dbProxy+ Server that expands IBM OS/390 and OS/400 server flexibility for Java development.

HiT JDBC/DB2 Enterprise provides universal servers and clients with complete DB2 data access via the JDBC API, the Java standard for relational database access. Full Type 4 JDBC functionality allows the Java developer to flexibly use HiT middleware within servlets or client applets. A small footprint ensures fast applet deployment and application access. dbProxy+ Server, also written entirely in the Java language, allows Java applets DB2 access when this data resides on a different server than the applet’s Web server. Full support of IBM DB2 SQL syntax, stored procedures and result sets enable developers to build superior end-user applications.

By supporting native IBM database servers, mission-critical servers do not require additional host code, thereby maintaining application services. Compression and customizable encryption support via the included dbProxy+ Server ensure that extranet/Internet users have optimal performance and security. JDBC/DB2 Enterprise runs on all leading application servers and Java-enabled platforms, including OS/390, OS/400, Windows 95, Windows NT, Apple Mac OS, UNIX, Sun JavaStation and other network computers.

DM Storage Solutions

Sybase certified Network Appliance’s network file servers for use with Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise. Optimized exclusively for network data access and retrieval, NetApp filers provide reliability and ease-of-management for UNIX and Windows NT environments as well as the Internet. With this partnership, corporations can now gain these advantages in a fully supported Sybase enterprise data management environment. The filer enables Sybase customers to leverage their existing Sybase infrastructure with no impact on application performance.

NetApp filers deliver tangible performance and storage-management benefits with the patented WAFL file system. The filer offloads the overhead of file system management from the server CPU, freeing it to tackle database-specific tasks. With RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) built in, NetApp filers also provide data protection. Using a Network Appliance feature known as Snapshot, which maintains an online, read-only copy of the file system, Sybase customers can greatly simplify their backup strategies.

User-Based Y2K Pricing

Accelr8 Technology changed its pricing model for the Navig8 2000 Suite of products. The newly introduced user-based pricing structure now provides an entry-level price for it’s popular Navig8 2000 Scanner at $5,000.

In addition to the new user-based pricing, Accelr8 introduced new packaging options. Navig8 2000 Project Toolset Package includes Navig8 2000 scanner, repository and renovation components. A third package, named the Language Toolset, consists of the Project Toolset together with all available language-specific parsing products.

Partners Deliver Mainframe Data for Open Systems

Ardent Software and BMC Software are partnering to provide "unsurpassed data propagation". Ardent Software’s DataStage extraction and transformation tool will play a key role in BMC Software’s Enterprise Data Propagation (EDP) strategy through its integration with BMC Software products, such as ChangeDataMove and DataReach. DataStage allows end users to develop and expand transformation tasks within the data management environment. The result of this integration is a comprehensive, high-performance solution for capturing and propagating legacy data to data warehouses and data marts running on open systems and Windows NT databases.

CLARiiON and 3COM SAN Solution

The CLARiiON Advanced Storage Division of Data General together with 3Com formed a cross-industry alliance to deliver Fibre Channel Storage Area Network (SAN) solutions for NT server platforms. Both 3Com and CLARiiON will deliver the technologies necessary to integrate the SANs into the existing enterprise network infrastructure.

CLARiiON is participating in 3COM’s StorageConnect Program by providing: the CLARiiON FC5000 Series Fibre Channel arrays, a storage management platform that scales with the growth of SAN storage, and high availability software. In addition, CLARiiON has licensed a suite of development tools to 3COM to accelerate SAN and network product integration.

OpenConnect Launches Platinum ProPartner Program

As a member of the Platinum ProPartner program, resellers are able to participate in the growing Web-to-Host market. According to IDC, forecasted annual Web-to-Host growth rates are expected to increase 140 percent to $1 billion by the year 2002. OpenConnect iteself has experienced a 400 percent increase over 1997, resulting in over 1 million users. Platinum ProPartners will leverage this momentum to sell OpenConnect’s product line.