News in Brief

XML for mainframes; development suite for Web-based apps; Cisco's new products for Fibre-Channel devices

It’s a Natural—XML for Mainframes

Software AG, Inc. announced new XML support in version 4 of its Natural 4GL (Natural 4) development platform for mainframes.

Support for XML in Natural 4 allows developers to extend mainframe applications to the Internet and the Web and expose them to Web services.

In addition to its XML support, Natural 4 boasts several other new capabilities, including improved application performance, accelerated and simplified access to Software AG's Adabas by other databases, the ability to use a Windows desktop to develop applications for a UNIX production environment, and expanded interoperability between Natural for IBM's OS/390 or z/OS and Natural for Linux.

Natural 4 boasts several performance enhancements, including improved object-code-handling techniques, redesigned execution algorithms, widened access paths, increased buffer sizes, use of 64-bit technology (in z/OS environments only), and a new RPC implementation.

The enhanced version of Natural accelerates access to Software AG's Adabas by other mainframe applications, with new support for dynamic changes in read directions and dynamic re-positioning within read loops. Natural 4 can also take advantage of Adabas's read-ahead capability.

Natural 4 features a remote development architecture, called Single Point of Development, that enables programmers to develop applications for mainframe or Unix target environments using Natural on Windows PCs.

The enhanced version of Natural for OS/390 or z/OS can be extended with the current version 5—or the forthcoming version 6—of Natural for Linux on the same machine. This two-tier architecture allows Natural for OS/390 or z/OS to complement the enhanced browser support, Web access, and Tamino XML Server query capabilities of Natural for Linux.

Natural 4 for OS/390, z/OS, VASE'S, VM/CMS and BS2000/OSD is now available as a controlled release to registered customers. General release is scheduled for September 2003.

Interwoven Touts New Suite for App Development, Testing, Deployment

Interwoven Inc. introduced Developer Suite, an integrated offering that facilitates that development and deployment of Web-based applications.

The new product enables IT organizations to replicate their production environments for development and testing, and also provides a sandbox for development and the pre-production ramp.

Interwoven’s TeamCode provides process-based workflows to manage the release of code and content throughout the lifecycle of an application. Code can originate from a traditional source, such as a source code management system (SCM), and developers can continue to use their preferred development tools. The resulting code is then integrated with the content and released using TeamCode.

TeamCode also provides a common facility for integrating code and content management—including external SCM systems—enabling development teams to collaboratively merge, test, and deploy Web applications. It supports integrated development environment plug-ins that extend project scheduling, workflow, conflict control, versioning, and rollback services directly into external Web applications.

Other features include Interwoven Developer Server, which allows organizations to clone their environments for testing software updates or developing and testing templates and workflows prior to deployment to a production environment.

Also included is ContentServices SDK 1.1, a SOAP/XML interface designed to enable portlet developers to embed Interwoven content management and publishing capabilities directly into portlets running in IBM, BEA, SAP, Plumtree, or other vendors' portals.

Other elements of the suite include OpenAPI, a set of Java components and services that expose the functionality of the Interwoven 5 platform to external programs; Cold-standby Server, which allows Interwoven TeamSite software to be installed on a standby server for fault tolerance; FormAPI, a JavaScript API that embeds Java script functionality into templates, enabling developers to control the properties of template form elements.

Visti for more information.

Cisco Announces New IP Storage Networking Solutions

Cisco Systems Inc. announced three storage-networking solutions that use iSCSI or Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) to connect to Fibre Channel-attached devices.

The MDS 9000 IP Storage Services Module, an 8-port line card for the Cisco MDS 9000 family of multilayer directors and fabric switches that simultaneously supports iSCSI and FCIP on each Gigabit Ethernet port.

The FCIP Port Adapter for the Cisco 7200 and 7400 series routers, which is designed for shops that have existing multiple Fibre Channel SANs. These customers typically need FCIP to interconnect them over long distances.

Cisco says the SN 5428-2 departmental and workgroup SAN switch has been enhanced with new FCIP capability on its two Gigabit Ethernet ports and supports iSCSI.

The FCIP Port Adapter for the Cisco 7200 and Cisco 7400 series routers and the Cisco SN 5428-2 storage router are available now. Cisco says that the MDS 9000 IP storage services module will ship by the June timeframe.

About the Author

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