MKS Framework Brings Integrity to its Products

A few years ago, e-business was the exception, not the norm. That, of course, is no longer the case now, and as a result, corporations that underestimated the growth of e-business now find themselves fighting an uphill battle.

Recognizing the need for scalable, integrated e-business solutions in an ever-changing business environment, Mortice Kern Systems (MKS, Waterloo, Ontario) decided a few months ago to make changes in its e-business management solution infrastructure.

"In our research, we found that there are a lot of customers that have to re-invent themselves with e-business," says Dave Martin, MKS group product manager. "Online firms are threatening their very existence."

By leveraging its strength in change management and its cross-platform ability, MKS is in the process of developing a new architecture called MKS Integrity Framework. A collection of various technologies, the new architecture will enable companies to adjust to various changes as they move into the e-business spectrum. "As organizations move toward e-business, the ability to adapt to changes is very important," says Martin. "Companies want to accelerate moving their business processes to e-business, but they need assistance in the process."

MKS will also use the Integrity Framework to develop a unified, cross-platform portfolio of products. Throughout 2000 and beyond, MKS will be developing a new portfolio of products around the MKS Integrity Framework architecture. In addition, MKS will also be re-formatting some of its legacy applications to include the new architecture for integration.

This way, various MKS products, regardless of whether they run on an AS/400 or OS/390, will be able to seamlessly integrate. "[MKS Integrity Framework] will serve as the architecture where all of our products and services fit in," says Kim Braxton, MKS product marketing."

MKS will be releasing new products with the MKS Integrity Framework infrastructure in 2000, with the first product release scheduled for the end of February. "Our plan is to bring all of our products under this architecture," says Martin.

By integrating their products to work together, regardless of platform, MKS will be particularly appealing to corporations with various platforms that have to integrate their applications as they move into e-business.

However, Martin says that single platform companies, such as the AS/400, will also benefit from the new architecture because "the change management capabilities allow them to adjust to the continuous changes they will encounter as they move into e-business."

MKS is continuing to enhance the MKS Integrity Framework architecture and recently purchased Java technology from a company called Andelain. "Java is an ideal cross-platform technology for us to build enterprise applications," says Martin. "This new technology gives us the ability to unify user platforms across an enterprise and it also allows us to use exactly the same user interface for all platforms."