British Telecommunications Plc has been quietly completing a major contract for the supply of its Merlin 6000 Unix machines for the UK Department of Health and Social Security’s Local Office Management Project, which will put the 68020based microcomputers into each of the Department’s 450 local offices by April 1988. Telecom is not revealing the details yet, but software house Dataflex says that it has sold in excess of 3,000 multi-user licences covering both new 6000 machines and the older Merlin 4000s, which run Digital Research’s Concurrent DOS and are already owned by the Social Security Department. The project, which is distinct from the ICL mainframe-based Local Office Project that is establishing a central information store from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, aims to keep track of the individual files of claiments as they progress through various branches of the giant ministry towards payment of benefits. The Department will carry out software development on the Merlin 6000s via an unnamed contractor, using the Dataflex application generator, which replaced the originally specified Cobol language.
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