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December 5, 1995

GOING DUTCH: COMPUWARE SETS OUT ITS UNIFACE STALL AND EXPLAINS ITS PLANS FOR THE ACQUIRED PRODUCT

By CBR Staff Writer

Farmington Hills, Michigan-based Compuware Corp says it will upgrade its newly-acquired Uniface application development environment in the first quarter of next year. Compuware, which finally swallowed the Dutch proprietary language supplier Uniface BV in December last year, says that version 6.2 will include new model entities, features and extensions to accommodate additional forms, reports and application objects. ‘Upper CASE’ tools will be able to transfer design work into Uniface automatically, the company claims. Uniface model and application components are stored in a central repository. When a component definition is changed it supposedly ripples through the application automatically. As a result, run-time components inherit behaviour from a central model, rather than from each other, avoiding performance problems inherited with dynamic inheritance techniques, Compuware claims. Version 6.2 incorporates object techniques such as abstraction, encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism and provides templates to create forms, entities and fields, without the need for procedural code. Objects automatically inherit the template’s characteristics during compilation. In future, Compuware says, it will add other application objects representing generic, form-independent executables which could return a data set when triggered, supplementing physical data objects already included in Uniface. The development system already uses cacheing, buffering, data conversions and network optimisation to move data between the client and server. In future it will accommodate compiler algorithms and techniques to maintain application performance. The company plans to introduce dynamic partitioning by the end of next year, which will include Compuware’s EcoTools distributed management performance software – its not clear whether this will be integrated with Uniface – presumably providing some kind of hybrid ‘intelligent’ partitioning. It will apparently enable some development and maintenance to be done in the deployment environment. Meantime Compuware has three other developments under way to extend Uniface’s partitioning functionality. Distributed Computing Manager is an option for the current version of Uniface which provides interfaces to on-line transaction processing monitors and supports Distributed Computing Environment remote procedure calls.

PolyServer

An initial Distributed Computing Manager version will interface with CICS and Tuxedo, with support for Encina planned. Distributed Computing Manager comes with a Distributed Form Server which enables developers to build application forms on the client and subsequently deploys the appropriate forms on the server avoiding processing overload or fat clients. Distributed Computing Manager supports Windows 3.1 with the Distributed Form Server up on Hewlett-Packard Co, IBM Corp and Sun Microsystems Inc servers. With the 6.2 update, Uniface will offer PolyServer, a distributed processing agent enabling Uniface forms, operating system commands, Remote Procedure Calls and Distributed Computing Manager-supported external services on the server. Developers can segregate any or all application processing from the desktop application and database server. PolyServer acts as an intermediate server, enabling the presentation layer to run on the desktop or client tier, the data processing layer on the database server third tier and the application layer on the intermediate tier. This avoids processing bottlenecks by assigning specific processing tasks to the systems best able to deal with them. Mainframe database drivers for DB2, IMS and VSAM and PolyServer are due in the first quarter of 1996. WWW.@.WWW.@.WWW.@.WWW.@.WWW..Internet News..WWW.@.WWW.@.WWW.@.WWW.@.WWW

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