The new London offices of Generics Software Ltd of Dublin will open early in 1988 to spearhead the company’s expansion into the UK Ada and artificial intelligence market. As it made its announcement last week, Generics also unveiled the first three modules of its seven-strong FrameKIT knowledge engineering toolset. FrameKIT operates within a Lisp environment but offers the same facilities as a typical toolkit. This means the software developer can design an application with the advantages of Lisp but avoiding the constraints of an integrated knowledge engineering environment. If an intelligent element is introduced then extra modules can be added for further knowledge and manipulation. Only three modules are available at present: FrameKIT L, a representation language which allows the developer to represent data using frames; FrameKIT E, which is a full screen editor, and FrameKIT O, an object-oriented extension of L. The kit runs under PC-DOS and VAX/VMS and comes in at UKP1,600 on a DEC MicroVAX. The top range costs up to UKP34,100. In addition Generics will be marketing AnimAID, designed to allow creation of better Ada applications by combining object-oriented design with graphical interfacing techniques. AnimAID features a configurable user interface, fast prototyping of graphical interfaces and re-usability of applications modules. It runs under VAX/VMS, and a PC-DOS version is scheduled for early 1988. For use on a MicroVAX with a single CPU licence, AnimAID costs UKP6,500. Top of the range comes in at UKP18,000 for the same set up. Generics sees the Ada software engineering tools market in the UK alone as being worth UKP10.0m and growing at a rate of 20% to 25% a year. Over in the US, Ada development is receiving attention too, and Cadre Technologies Inc of Providence, Rhode Island, has announced a set of advanced computer-aided software engineering tools which it says are designed to increase the productivity of Ada software developers. The tool set is to be based on technology developed at General Electric’s Corporate Laboratory, research and development centre in Schenectady, New York. This venture has led to a marketing and development agreement to integrate a set of GE software development tools, known as the Interactive System Designers’ Workstation, with Cadre’s Teamwork family of workstation-based software engineering tools. Under the terms of the agreement Cadre will have exclusive worldwide marketing rights to the resulting products. The Ada toolset includes a graphic based Ada design editor, or Buhr Editor, coupled with an Ada code generator, a syntax directed editor and an Ada interpreter. As part of the agreement between Cadre and GE, the two companies will collaborate to adapt the tools for use on general purpose workstations such as those from Apollo, Digital Equipment, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sun Microsystems. The products are slated to begin shipping in the first quarter of 1988.
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