Countdown to Year 2000

Happy Days Again!

Mainframe Data for Open Systems Environments

Ardent Software and BMC Software announced a partnership to provide end users with high-performance solutions for data propagation, including extraction, transformation and changed data capture tools.

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 BMC Software's ChangeDataMove and DataReach.

KeyLink/Dickens Participates in IBM Net.Commerce Start Now Program

KeyLink/Dickens announced that it will be the first value-added distributor in the United States to offer the IBM Net.Commerce Start Now program, a turnkey electronic commerce package targeted to small- and medium-sized businesses. The IBM Net.Commerce Start Now program incorporates IBM hardware and software, including Netfinity servers, the IBM Net.Commerce merchant server, IBM Suites for Windows NT and storage products, to create a robust, secure electronic commerce offering.

Available to both KeyLink/Dickens' IBM Solution Providers (SPs) and KeyLink Systems' value-added resellers (VARs), IBM Net.Commerce Start Now program will be positioned as an electronic commerce starter kit that will allow businesses to quickly and cost-effectively offer commerce-enabled Web sites to their customers. IBM Net.Commerce Start Now program is a modular-like, open architecture solution offered throughout KeyLink Systems because it can also be easily and successfully implemented across hardware platforms. The IBM Net.Commerce Start Now program enables KeyLink/Dickens' business partners to provide an affordable hardware, software and services bundle for under $40,000.

Direct JDBC for IBM DB2

HiT Software announced HiT JDBC/DB2 Enterprise, comprehensive DB2 and DB2/400 Java middleware, optimized via native IBM server support and designed with security and flexibility. HiT JDBC/DB2 Enterprise includes JDBC drivers for DB2 and DB2/400 and the HiT dbProxy+ Server which expands IBM OS/390 and OS/400 server flexibility for Java(TM) development. Corporate e-commerce Java developers can now deploy DB2 applets faster and minimize client response time across their networks.

HiT JDBC/DB2 Enterprise provides universal servers and clients with DB2 data access via the JDBC API, the Java standard for relational database access. Supporting IBM Distributed Relational Database Architecture and OS/400 Optimized database server protocols, HiT JDBC/DB2 Enterprise's performance sets itself apart from other lowest-common-denominator vendor solutions. Full Type 4 JDBC functionality allows the Java developer to flexibly use HiT middleware within servlets or client applets. An extremely 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.

Development & Maintenance Drop Over 50 Percent

According to a study by IT Metrics comparing 1997 and 1998 IT spending, combined development and maintenance spending dropped 51.6 percent this year, 1997's figures totaled over 41 percent, while 1998's figures were only 31 percent.

Howard Rubin, Metrics Expert and Senior Editor on the Cutter Consortium's Year 2000 and Business-IT Alignment advisory services, authored the study. Rubin surveyed 426 organizations across 21 areas in both private and public sectors. Companies representing more than a dozen different countries are included. According to Rubin's study, some of the top findings include: Net spending is poised to surpass IT development and maintenance spending, and IT budget brakes are on - growth is the lowest that it's been in years.

Delivering Data Management Storage Solutions

Network Appliance and Sybase announced the certification of Network Appliance's network file servers for use with Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise. The companies worked together to optimize and test Network Appliance's (NetApp) dedicated file server appliances, known as "filers," with Adaptive Server Enterprise to ensure improved performance and the highest degree of data availability. Customers benefit from decreased administration and centralized storage for both UNIX and Windows NT environments.

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, which is optimized to reduce I/O bottlenecks. With RAID built in, NetApp filers also provide exceptional protection for the customer's data. 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 Tool Set Pricing

Accelr8 Technology announced a change to it's 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 just $5,000.

In addition to the new user-based pricing, Accelr8 has introduced new packaging options. Navig8 2000 Scanner is the entry-level offering. Accelr8's 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.

How to Succeed

CNC Global Consulting launched The IT Consultant's Handbook, which explores contract consulting opportunities available to IT professionals in today's market. Currently, it is estimated that over 346,000 IT positions need to be filled in the United States, according to the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA). The IT Consultant's Handbook is available at no cost to current CNC Global consultants and those who want to receive a career consultation at one of the company's branch offices in Dallas, Phoenix, Raleigh and Seattle. In addition, The IT Consultant's Handbook will be distributed through for $9.95.

CLARiiON and 3COM to Deliver Complete SAN Solution

The CLARiiON Advanced Storage Division of Data General together with 3Com announced the formation of 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. By providing proven solutions for specific customer problems, this cross-industry alliance enables customers to benefit immediately from SANs without waiting for plug-and-play industry interoperability.

CLARiiON is participating in 3COM's StorageConnect Program by providing a broad range of value-added SAN solutions. These include the CLARiiON industry leading 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.

TPBROKER and Compaq's NonStop OTSHitachi and Compaq cooperated in a series of benchmark tests to demonstrate OTS interoperability. During these tests, Hitachi's TPBroker demonstrated full interoperability with the Tandem Divisions NonStop OTS, NonStop JORB/MP and NonStop DOM/MP in a full heterogeneous, two-phase commit environment. Full two-phase commit took place between the individual OTS and their resource managers, as well as between each vendor's OTS. The test proved that TPBroker and NonStop OTS truly comply with OMG CORBA OTS standards and its meaning.

The CORBA ORB provides enterprisewide interoperability and the Object Transaction Service supplies object level ACID transaction properties (Atomic, Consistent, Isolated and Durable). These solutions are part of a complete line of online transaction processing solutions, including Web-enabled and Java-based offerings. NonStop Himalaya servers pioneered fault tolerant computing and are now widely recognized as the industry's most highly available systems. Himalaya-based systems drive business-critical solutions in banking financial services and telecommunications, and they have captured most of the high-stakes online transaction processing (OLTP) market including: 90 percent of global securities transactions; 80 percent of the worlds' automatic teller machine (ATM) transactions; and 66 percent of credit card transactions.

Educational Version of Y2K Solution

RMM announced the availability of 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 coordinates 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. Millennium Key does not require programmers to change application logic or legacy data enables programmers to customize the approach to meet their specific conversion parameters.

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 five-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 11 USM schools.