Wall Data Rolls Out Rumba 2000

Wall Data Inc.'s quest to shape its Rumba line of products to meet the changing needs of the AS/400 market continues with the release of Rumba 2000 Version 6.0.

Rumba 2000 was developed for organizations looking to reduce total cost of PC ownership, for those requiring robust host access capabilities within their LAN/WAN infrastructure and for those with plans to adopt a Web-based computing model. Essentially, Rumba 2000 is designed to combine the traditional functions of Rumba with the Web-based capabilities of Wall Data's Cyberprise line of products.

Rumba Office 2000, Cyberprise Edition, is the flagship product of this latest release and includes three components: Rumba Office 2000, which features Rumba in a browser; Cyberprise Host, Pro Edition; and one dedicated client license for Cyberprise Host, Enterprise Edition.

"This is the most significant upgrade to Rumba in three years," says Chuck Robb, group product marketing manager for Wall Data (Kirkland, Wash.). "Customers are telling us they want to deploy Web-to-host to reduce TCO [total cost of ownership]. One of the ways to do this is use browser-based host access solutions."

Rumba 2000 has been designed to deliver improved host access capabilities over TCP/IP. Additional host access features include: TN5250E support to provide AS/400 users with printing and unique device names capabilities, and AS/400 file transfer support for native TCP/IP.

Rumba Office 2000 is straightforwardly known as a browser-based connectivity solution for AS/400 hosts from Windows PCs. With Rumba 2000's Rumba-in-a-browser design, "[Microsoft] Internet Explorer becomes a container for Rumba applications," says Paul Cunningham, Rumba product manager for Wall Data. "In fact the Rumba browser is integrated in with the Internet Explorer menu. Rumba in a browser allows companies to take a step toward Web-to-host."

The next two components of the Rumba 2000 product line address more specific needs. Cyberprise Host, Pro Edition, is a set of ActiveX controls downloadable from any Web server. The controls are designed to provide the core functions of Rumba software, including host display, file transfer and host printing with a small footprint for PC users within LAN/WAN or intranet environments. Cyberprise Host, Enterprise Edition, provides an integrated solution for secure, direct, persistent access to mission-critical business applications and information.

Rumba 2000 products also provide support for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2.0 (SMS), designed to allow companies to deploy, track and maintain desktop software with reduced overall costs, giving system administrators greater flexibility and control. The larger the environment, the more important it becomes to invest in a platform specifically for managing software (like Microsoft's SMS 2.0), according to Cunningham. "A good number of [Rumba] customers are standardized on Microsoft software," he adds.

"Host access is a mature market," Robb acknowledges, adding, "Client shipments are declining in the host access market, but the user base is still there. Some customers still have a need for traditional host access."

Add to this Wall Data's belief that the Web-to-host market is increasing, and Rumba 2000 meets the host access needs that companies have when progressing to the Web. In the first six months of fiscal 1999, for example, Cyberprise has accounted for 10 percent of Wall Data's total revenue.

"Organizations are trying to get closer to their customers and partners while at the same time trying to make more information available to their employees," Robb says. "The strategy for Wall Data, for Rumba, is to address this gradual change in the requirements of the host access market."