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  1. Technology
August 15, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

Computer Protocol Labs, the Santa Cruz, California-based 1994 vintage start-up formed by engineers that left Unix System Labs’ Pacific unit prior to its integration into Novell Japan (CI No 2,794), has changed its name to Dascom Inc, hired Jim Curtin, former managing director of the Open Software Foundation’s Asia-Pacific operations as its president and chief executive, and introduced a suite of products based on the Open Group Research Institute’s DCE Web technologies and its own OSF/1, Mach microkernel implementation. Dascom claims it has essentially taken the 1.0 DCE Web release and turned it into a 2.0-level technology as IntraVerse. Intraverse is designed to be used as a secure Web server, and uses the OSF/1 and Mach microkernel ope rating system technologies that were turned into a product for iAPX-86 Corp boxes as AD V1.1 by Computer Protocol Labs, plus Distributed Computing Environment and DCE Web. Think of it as the best of the Distributed Environment applied to the Internet rather than Internet applied to the Distributed Environment, Dascom says. IntraVerse provides mutual authentication of clients and servers, end-to-end encryption, user-level authorization at the object level, distributed administration and detaile d journaling of user activities, says Dascom. The $25,000 IntraVerse WebStarter includes a Pentium personal computer, AD V1.1 and a 100-user WebSeat client for Unix and Windows that can be downloaded over the Internet to prov-ide access to Distributed Computing Environment services. Web-Seat is based on the Research Institute’s client proxies. Dascom has got WebStarter versions in hand for Solaris and other Unixes. An IntraVerse manager enables Web services to be managed from distributed manag ement consoles. Dascom has also developed secure servers for File Transfer Protocol, Telnet, news, conferencing and Corba request brokers for use with the core IntraVerse Web Server; no prices.

Well worth it

It is working up a WebSeal product that extends IntraVerse security to third party Web servers, again based upon DCE Web technology. IntraVerse is aimed at Internet service providers and companies that manage their own intranets. It distances itself from rival DCE Web purveyor Gradient Technologies Inc, claiming Gradient builds applications on Distributed Computing Environment for an operating system. Dascom says it builds pieces of Distributed Computing Environment into applications. It has paid $750,000 to become an executive sponsor of the Open Group Research Institute and has spent at least $1m on code and intellectual property rights, including $250,000 for Distributed Computing Environment, $125,000 for OSF/1, $300,000 annually fo r the Mach microkernel and $100,000 or so on other technologies. It reckons that $1m for work that has been created by hundreds of millions of industry dollars is well worth it. It takes Research Institute technologies and turns them into products. It has got Java on the way. Dascom has hired former X/Open Co Ltd marketing chief Allen Brain as managing director of its European operation, which is based in London. Australian and Japanese units will come on line soon. It has also hired some Unix Labs Pacific refugees for its Santa Cruz headquarters. Many jumped from Unix Labs when Novell Inc bought Unix from AT&T Corp and new Unix Systems Group chief Kanwal Rekhi told them all they would be working on NetWare. Dascom has got 30 staff now a nd expects to double that number soon. It expects to sell its products as part of wider system and service sales rather than as technology or OEM wins, though it is not about to turn any offers down. It has wins in China and Japan up its sleeve. Dascom has taken the name of the Hong Kong-based Dascom Holding Ltd software company that was part of the Unix System Technologies of China joint venture with the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Elect-ronic Industries and Novell Inc, which has been using Tuxedo to develop applications for China’s major industries (CI No 2,408). It that stresses it has no formal connection with Dascom. One of Dascom’s biggest clients is the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Dascom also does work with FTP Software Inc’s Firefox Communications unit, and has already announced a Distributed Computing Environment implementation for Wind River Systems Inc VxWorks real-time Unix, to which it has rights, and a Distributed Computing Environment firewall.

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