Nov/Dec Industry News & Analysis

EAGLE, Unisys, Unisphere to Conduct LINC Users Conference

Driven by the market demand for information, strategies and tactics that focus on the transition of Information Technology, EAGLE Computer Associates, a supplier of products and services to the worldwide LINC customer base, along with their conference partners, Unisys Business Partner Sales and Unisphere Magazine, have announced GLB.Conference. To be held April 13-14, 2000, in King of Prussia, Pa., this seminar will target CIOs and senior IT personnel, with presentations that focus on management, strategic and tactical issues facing the Unisys LINC community of more than 1,800 organizations worldwide.

Clients include many Fortune 500 companies, state and local governments and a multitude of privately held organizations that have implemented LINC as a means of delivering custom-built, world-class applications. These organizations continue to face the challenge of an ever-changing technology landscape. They must understand technological direction and review successful implementations of their peers in order to factor in reality within their own planning process. Conference sessions will include presentations on LINC product directions beyond the year 2000, migration of LINC systems to open operating systems, transforming your organization to electronic business, system modernization, the implementation of PC- based development, case studies and the optimization of IT personnel.

Stephen J. Marengo, President and CEO of Eagle, points out, "We have listened to the LINC user and their desire for a conference that focuses on LINC. We will assemble the world’s best clients, vendors and technology at GLB.Conference."

For more information, visit EAGLE’s Web site at info@eagleca.com.

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Amazon.com Joins Avantgo.com E-Commerce

AvantGo Inc., a mobile information management company, has introduced an e-commerce initiative that allows individuals and mobile professionals to purchase goods and services using handheld devices and smart phones. AvantGo also announced that Amazon.com is the first company to deliver its e-commerce solution via AvantGo.com, a free interactive service on the Web for handheld computers.

In a wireless or disconnected mode, AvantGo.com can extend the capabilities and value of handheld computers and smart phones, based on the palm computing platform and Windows CE operating system. For more information, visit www.avantgo.com.

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Unisys Servers Optimize PeopleSoft Solutions

Unisys has specially configured its Aquanta ES5000 servers to optimize the performance of PeopleSoft HRMS and Financials solutions.

The servers feature new software for achieving continuous application availability complemented by TUXEDO transaction manager from BEA Systems. For solutions accessing Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 databases, the Unisys High-Availability Application Assistant (HA-Application Assistant) software uses Microsoft Cluster Server to enable TUXEDO-based transactions to move automatically from a failed server to a functioning one in the event of a server outage. In addition, when the failed server comes back online, these transactions automatically failback to this server. When used in an Oracle database environment, HA-Application Assistant also takes advantage of Oracle Fail Safe clustering software.

Unisys Aquanta ES servers optimized for PeopleSoft solutions support 250, 500 or 1,000 users.

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Aquanta Achieves Exchange Performance Record

Unisys made the industry’s first disclosure of benchmark data, measuring the performance of Microsoft Exchange messaging software running on a server based on Intel’s advanced Profusion eight-way processor server technology.

The Unisys Aquanta ES5085R server achieved an Exchange MAPI Messaging Benchmark (MMB), the standard measure of Exchange performance, of 31,000. The server was equipped with the 550-MHz Intel Pentium III Xeon processors with 2 Mbytes of Level 2 cache. The previous high-water mark for server performance running Exchange was 21,000, produced by a Unisys Aquanta ES5045 server with four 500-MHz processors.

The Exchange Server MAPI Messaging Benchmark measures throughput in terms of a specific profile of user actions, executed over an eight-hour day. It represents mail traffic from a typical corporate e-mail user, including common daily mail tasks.

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50 Percent of Companies Plan Y2K Lockdown

September and October marked the beginning of the Year 2000 "freeze," or "lockdown" for about 50 percent of the companies surveyed in a study by Cutter Consortium. During these final few months, there will be no system enhancements, no upgrades, no downloads, no new hardware installations and no installation of new applications. The objective is to freeze the overall computing environment, in order to make it as stable as possible, and to eliminate unexpected last-minute surprises.

Ed Yourdon, the Chairman of Cutter Consortium comments, "In our latest Cutter Consortium Year 2000 survey, we found that approximately half of the IT organizations are planning such a freeze; some 36 percent indicated that they have decided against a freeze; and 15 percent were unsure, probably because they hadn’t thought about the issue.

For the organizations planning a freeze, the two most popular months were September and October – thus, obviously indicating that some organizations have already begun their lockdown activities."

The Cutter study consists of responses from 96 organizations, with an average IT budget of $38.2 million, and an average IT staff of 816 people. Approximately 86 percent of respondents were senior managers, IT managers, Year 2000 project managers or quality assurance managers.

For more information, visit the Cutter Web site at www.cutter.com/consortium.

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Amdahl Study Reveals E-Commerce Service Quality

Amdahl Global Solutions, a division of Amdahl Corporation, revealed the results of their e-commerce performance study. E-commerce businesses are investing millions in online storefronts, anticipating a dramatic increase of online shopping transactions. To assess the results of these efforts and demonstrate the industry need for robust end-user performance solutions, Amdahl conducted its e-performance "spot check." This study monitored quality of service, consistency of end user response and competitive position of popular Web sites. Results of the study are available on Amdahl’s eShop at www.eshopamdahl.com.

The EnView "spot check" evaluated today’s leading and most popular e-commerce sites that are likely to experience increased traffic levels over the next several months. Leading-edge online transaction sites include auction sites, such as eBay, Amazon, Yahoo! and Ubid brokerages; financial sites, such as Discover Brokerage, Datek Online, Fidelity Investments and eTrade; retailers, such as The Gap, Macy’s, JCPenney, Levi Strauss and FootLocker; and PC manufacturers, such as IBM, HP, Compaq, and Dell. The results indicate great strides have been achieved in improving Internet service. As transaction volume grows at record pace this holiday shopping season, all e-commerce sites will have the challenge to implement continuous monitoring tools to assure consistent competitive service for cyber shoppers.

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Core Technology Previews CTC Emulation Beans

Core Technology Corporation’s CTC Emulation Beans, a modular version of CTCBridge 5250, T27 and UTS emulation for the Java platform, is scheduled for previewing in the first quarter of 2000, with general availability scheduled for the second quarter.

CTCBridge for the Java platform is a browser-based emulation solution providing Internet or intranet access to Unisys A Series, V Series and ClearPath NX hosts and AS/400 midrange systems via Core Technology’s MultiBridge 32-bit communications server. CTCBridge for Java runs on any hardware or software architecture, which supports a Java-capable browser.

With the new versions of CTC Bridge, component-based technologies, such as Active Server Pages (ASP), integrate Unisys and IBM AS/400 host data into the Web. Developers can choose to use portions of an emulator (such as display, keyboard interface and transport) to build their own applications. CTC Emulation Beans can run on any Java-capable platform. ActiveX component versions will be available for Windows platforms.

For more information, visit their Web site at www.ctc-core.com.

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Crossing the Delaware River

At the end of 1776, George Washington wanted to get back into New Jersey, his army having just been chased out by the British forces of General William Howe. The British put an outpost of three Hessian regiments in Trenton, and Washington decided to attack. On the evening of December 25, Washington crossed the Delaware River at McConkey’s Ferry with a force of 2,500 men. At daybreak on the 26th, Washington’s army surprised the garrison at Trenton, and, after a brief fight, captured it, taking over 1,000 prisoners.

Most American school children have seen the famous painting of Washington crossing the Delaware, which was done by Emanuel Leutze in 1851. The painting shows General Washington standing up in the boat, but, in reality, he was smart enough to cross sitting down. It would be rather difficult to keep one’s balance standing in a rowboat with ice floes bumping into it.

Like Washington’s army, UNITE will be crossing the Delaware River for its Spring 2000 Technical Symposium, April 10-12, 2000, at the Hilton in Cherry Hill, N.J. Unlike Washington’s army, which had to cross in rowboats, fending off drifting ice floes, UNITE delegates can use the Walt Whitman Bridge (I-76) or the Benjamin Franklin Bridge (I-676) to get out to Cherry Hill from central Philadelphia.

UNITE will be balancing the old and the new at the Spring Technical Symposium. We plan to have sessions on the old, traditional 2200 and A Series topics, as well as sessions on new developments, plus an entire track for Open Enterprise Servers (i.e., NT and UNIX). Among the traditional topics, the proposed sessions include An Advanced Look at WFL, Tuning DMS II Databases, MAPPER Status, LINC Status and 2200 Performance Tuning.

Some of the planned sessions on new development topics are:

• Using the NX Virtual Machine for Java

• Migrating from a BNA to a TCP/IP Network

• Providing Access to DMS II via the Web

• NT Service Integration for ClearPath IX

• Webizing IX/2200 Applications using WebTS

• Thin-Client Computing with LINC

• Bringing Web Applications to Life with Dynamic HTML

The Open Enterprise Server track is planned to include:

• Realizing the CMP Architecture: The New Unisys Intel "Mainframe"

• Planning for the IA-64 (Merced)

• Windows NT Extended Memory Addressing

• Performance Tuning NT Systems and Applications

• Developing Usable Thin-Client Server-Based Technologies

This lineup of sessions might not induce you to cross the Delaware River in a rowboat on Christmas night, but it is certainly worth a ride over a bridge out to Cherry Hill. Keep your eye on the UNITE Web page, www.unite.org, for further details and registration information. But, if you do use a rowboat, don’t stand up!

George Gray

UNITE Board of Directors