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June 2, 1994

IBM OFFERS A CICS CLIENT FOR SUN MICROSYSTEMS WORKSTATIONS, FORMS CICS IMPLEMENTORS FORUM

By CBR Staff Writer

IBM Corp’s Transaction Systems division, primarily centred on the Hursley Lab facility just outside Winchester, Hampshire, is now a $700m-a-year business, according to Mark Bradbury, manager, business strategy at Hursley. And with the total transaction processing market set at $1,200m IBM is claiming a dominant 60% share. It’s a profitable business with a 16% compound annual growth rate. CICS now has a 50,000 server licence base worldwide, 36,000 of which are used on the 390 system, which is eroding at a 1% to 2% rate (due to consolidation, says IBM). New systems (mainly OS/2 and AS/400 at the moment, although CICS/6000 became available last September) should contribute $50m revenues this year, and an expected $150m next year. Two weeks ago IBM announced the availability of a Sun Microsystems Inc client for CICS – a server version is assumed to be on the way. And last week, IBM held the inaugural meeting of the CICS Implementors Forum at Hursley: members include Digital Equipment Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co, Dresdner Bank, Merrill Lynch & Co, British Telecommunications Plc and other software houses at Hursley. The industry-wide body will take control of the CICS application programming interfaces (which IBM published at the end of 1992) and should be able to influence the direction of any future changes. Competitors in the open transaction market have only a tiny percentage in comparison to CICS, says CICS business manager Steve Craggs, who predicts server licence levels will move into the thousands next year. In IBM’s view there are three groups of competitors: CICS Application Programming Interface supporters such as Unikix Inc and Micro Focus Plc, whose customers are mostly already CICS users; non-CICS competitors such as Top-End and Tuxedo that have so far garnered few customers (Tuxedo is mostly used by AT&T Corp itself); and the database vendors that claim that transaction processing is integrated in with the database, but only through the use of proprietary extensions, such as Oracle Corp’s stored procedures. IBM’s CICS/6000 is itself implemented using Transarc Corp’s Encina toolkit; Transarc has its own transaction processing monitor which IBM also sells. Craggs says that this is a low-level Unix technical device, and not a mainstream commercial system.

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