Canadian query and reporting tools company Andyne Computing Ltd will attempt to put some distance between itself and the competition by creating a Universal Client it claims will be able to interrogate all data types supported by the new breed of hybrid Universal Server databases. Andyne believes the intersection of the market for structured query and reporting, ad hoc query and on-line analytical processing tools for processing information stored in database records will lead to a fundamental realignment in the market. It expects that as many as 15 of the 20 or so players to disappear or be swallowed by their rivals. Andyne, like query and reporting tools companies Brio Technology and Cognos Software with which it competes head-to-head with, is adding functions to its managed query environment product that brings it into competition with ad hoc query and OLAP companies. It claims the Universal Client it’s working on will be able to integrate multiple data types supported by hybrid object- relational Universal Databases from the likes of Oracle, Informix, Sybase and IBM, including structured and unstructured text and spatial data. It also expects to integrate client’s reporting functions to work with the leading document management solutions. It’ll be able to do the querying over three-tier application architectures. Andyne says its Universal Client work leverages the Extensible Markup Language (XML), a subset of the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) it claims has useful structural properties plus querying capabilities. Andyne claims SGML is overkill while the web’s HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is underkill for its purposes. Andyne bought itself an expensive lesson on SGML – from where it learnt XML – from its abortive $2.25 acquisition of ActiveSystems Inc. After realising ActiveSystems’ SGML technology was far too niche for its requirements – it canned an SGML document search and exchange engine called Rosetta it had planned to cull from the ActiveSystems technology and took a write-down against its fiscal 1996 for it pains which lead to an overall loss but an operating profit for the year. In the first quarter of 1997 it made $350,000 on $5.2m revenue; $427,000 on $5.62m in the second quarter. Lately it’s been rebuilding its sales organisation by acquiring regional distributors in the UK, France and Australia and has opened five new sales offices in North America.