French company Esker SA has a new version of its Screener graphical user interface builder and application development tool targeted at customers with character-based Unix servers that want to access their databases from X terminals or personal computers running Microsoft Corp MS-DOS or Windows. Screener runs under most Unix environments, and sits on top of existing applications, where it generates SQL code for database queries. It ships on Apil 18 in the UK, at UKP2,500 for a Santa Cruz Operation Inc Unix developers kit and UKP900 for a Windows version. It has been around in France for the past month or so. The Lyon-based firm says it developed the tool as a one-off for a customer in France, but now expects to sell about UKP1m-worth of licences by the end of the year. And it is ramping up its presence accordingly. Esker has just opened offices in Essen, Germany, Foster City, California, and Ontario, Canada. It also set up a UK subsidiary in Shardlow, Derbyshire on February 1 all internally financed. The company turned over some UKP4.1m last year, with pre-tax profits of about UKP600,000, and hopes to go public in the next 18 months.