News in Brief

Sybase revamps PowerBuilder; HostFront update; IBM's new autonomic technologies; Aelita enhances Active Directory management

Sybase Announces New Version of RAD Tool

Sybase Inc. announced version 9.0 of its PowerBuilder rapid application development (RAD) environment. PowerBuilder 9.0 boasts support for Microsoft Corp.’s .NET as well as for the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) architecture.

PowerBuilder 9.0 provides the foundation for Sybase’s 4GLplus initiative, which is the company’s planned next-generation open RAD environment that incorporates life-cycle application development and management concepts.

New PowerBuilder 9.0 capabilities include support for RAD Java Server Page (JSP) targets, which Sybase says allows developers to use wizards and other RAD tools to quickly develop and deploy JSP Web applications.

Sybase says that PowerBuilder 9.0 also includes new support for Web services, such that it developers can design Web services for Microsoft .NET and J2EE without extensive knowledge of the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) or Web Services Description Language (WSDL).

Similarly, PowerBuilder’s XML DataWindow technology lets it import data directly from XML documents and save it as a customized XML document, or as a document using the eXtensible Stylesheets Language Formatting Objects (XSL-FO) or Adobe PDF formats.

The new version of PowerBuilder also supports Sybase’s PowerBuilder Native Interface, which lets developers wrap a C++ class as a PowerBuilder extension, and then call its methods in an application.

Sybase markets its own J2EE application server, Sybase EAServer, but the company says that PowerBuilder 9.0 also supports application servers from BEA Systems (WebLogic Server) and IBM Corp. (WebSphere)—along with additional third-party J2EE application servers—through wizards that generate proxies for enterprise Java beans (EJBs). PowerBuilder uses these proxies to call EJBs in third-party J2EE servers.

PowerBuilder 9.0 is expected to be generally available by March 24th.

Farabi Host Access Tool Supports .NET

Late last month, Farabi Technology Corp. announced version 3.5 of HostFront, its flagship host access and application integration platform for IBM mainframe and iSeries systems.

For quite some time, HostFront has supported COM and EJB interfaces to facilitate enterprise application integration, but version 3.5 of the product now boasts full support for Microsoft Corp.’s .NET framework and provides a full set of .NET components that integrate with Microsoft’s Visual Studio .NET integrated development environment. The upshot, HostFront says, is that developers can use any .NET programming language—such as VB.NET, ASP.NET, C#, or C++.NET— to build applications that integrate host data with Web, wireless, point-of-sale or other applications.

Farabi provides a .NET toolkit, which boasts a multi-threaded .NET Connection Pool Manager that allows developers to create live connections for faster data exchange with applications on one or multiple hosts simultaneously. The Connection Pool Manager facilitates session parking capabilities and provides support for .NET Remoting, which allows a distributed implementation model when high performance and fault tolerance are required.

HostFront 3.5 also supports RSA Security’s SecurID token-based authentication, which extends a trusted and secure online environment to legacy resources

HostFront 3.5 has been reengineered to adapt to multiple and simultaneous host connections on the back-end, including SNA (HIS2000), Telnet (TN3270E and TN5250E) and APPC. At the same time, HostFront 3.5 supports HTTP, HTTPS and direct TCP/IP on the front-end.

HostFront 3.5 is slated to ship in late March.

IBM Automates Provisioning

At this week’s CeBit tradeshow, held in Hannover, Germany, IBM Corp. will demonstrate three new autonomic software technologies.

Big Blue expects that its autonomic computing initiative will produce technologies that can anticipate sudden increases in workloads and respond by provisioning additional server capacity or dynamically reconfiguring operating system or application software parameters.

The technologies the company plans to unveil are Adaptive Forecasting, On-line Capacity Planning, and Rapid Reconfiguration.

Over the past 18 months, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc. have announced utility-computing architectures, Utility Data Center and N1, respectively, that also purport to automate provisioning.

IBM’s Adaptive Forecasting uses algorithms to track changes in real-time, while On-line Capacity Planning estimates the resources required to meet existing service levels and hot-swaps resources to accommodate changes in demand.

Rapid Reconfiguration is designed for use with IBM’s DB2 database and WebSphere Application Server (WAS). It can add new nodes in WAS or dynamically change DB2 configurations to meet workload demands.

After demand subsides, IBM’s new autonomic technologies can shift resources back to their original configurations. All three technologies will be available from Big Blue’s IBM Global Services division.

A Tool for a Mature Active Directory
by Scott Bekker
(courtesy of )

Aelita Software this week introduced an infrastructure tool to help deal with the problems facing enterprises with mature Active Directories.

One of the first companies to anticipate the need for tools to help with the massive domain restructurings necessary four years ago prior to the launch of Windows 2000 and the Active Directory, Aelita is now looking ahead to the second-generation of problems enterprises need help resolving with their Active Directory infrastructures.

The new tool is called the Aelita Enterprise Migration Manager and was generally available on Tuesday. Aelita positions EMM as a tool for Active Directory-to-Active Directory migrations.

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About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.