Heavy industry industrial plant design specialist Cadcentre Plc has launched an HTML-enabled design package, which offers distributed computing across a range of engineering databases. Hyperplant integrates Cambridge, UK-based Cadcentre’s previous CAD products through a Java-enabled browser. The company sees the emergence of distributed computing as a new model to replace client-server systems, with multiple databases feeding a central server. The unusual feature of Hyperplant, developed in conjunction with DuPont Inc, is the practical use of virtual reality using VRML, with integration to its virtual reality design package Review Reality via proprietary Voyager module. The Hyperplant software is offered on Silicon Graphics Inc Unix machines running IRIX 6.2, running Netscape Corp’s Enterprise Server Pro 3.0, with migration to other systems later. The client software is Netscape Corp’s Navigator 3.0 browser. The overall cost is 20,000 pounds for the server software and 2,000 pounds per client seat, with site service agreement of 15% of the installation value paid yearly. Cadcentre freely admits that compatibility with databases could be problematic, although connectivity is provided to Cadcentre products and standard engineering databases but compatibility with other CAD products is not guaranteed. Cadcentre claims that in the future Hyperplant could evolve into a engineering document management system. Cadcentre was floated on the London Stock Exchange in December 1996 (CI No 3,036), and made an annual profit of 2m pounds, on revenues of 17m pounds.