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August 16, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Despite the dismal market response to artificial intelligence software and systems in the US and in most European countries bar France, IBM is ploughing on with its programme to provide comprehensive artificial intelligence software on its mainframes. The line-up announced yesterday includes a new release of the IBM Expert System Environment, designed for users with few computer skills; and a complementary new Expert System Consultation Environment/PC; a new version of IBM’s KnowledgeTool, designed for data processing professionals; and an implementation of IntelliCorp’s KEE Knowledge Engineering Environment, IBM KEE, designed for data processing professionals trained in artificial intelligence applications. Version 1.2 of Expert System Environment adds full integration with IMS/VS and CICS/VS, so that expert software can be tacked onto mainstream applications and batch processing support is also provided. It uses Cross Memory Services to communicate with related IMS, CICS, TSO or batch address spaces, and uses 31-bit XA addressing. Small knowledge bases can be merged into a single large knowledge base and one knowledge base can dynamically call another. It is re entrant. The companion Expert System Consultation Environment/PC enables completed Expert System Environment applications to run on personal computers. It has a direct external interface to programs written in Assembler, Pascal and C, and via these to databases, spreadsheets and files on the micro. V2.1 of IBM’s KnowledgeTool adds a test facility with windows and upgrades the thing to program product status. It adds separate development and delivery environments, extended rule blocks, so generally usable rules packages can be developed for a variety of applications. It is also now re-entrant, making it available to multiple users concurrently. IBM KEE was developed jointly with Mountain View-based IntelliCorp Inc to run under MVS, is compatible with all previous releases, and features KEE’s powerful end-user graphics interface for developers, advanced knowledge-based application development tools, and external access to System/370 files, high level languages and DB2 databases. IBM has also come up with an Enhanced Common Lisp Production System for MVS, adding the OPS5 rule-based, forward chaining language extension originally developed by Science Applications International Corp to IBM Common Lisp and providing direct integration with that language and other interactive development aids. In the US, Expert System Environment is a one time $42,500 under or $2,360 a month. Under VM, the graduated one-time charges run from $21,240 to $57,570; December in the US. A single copy of Expert System Consultation Environment/PC goes automatically to all current and new licensees of Expert System Environment. Additional copies are $595 a time, from March. KnowledgeTool has a graduated monthly licence of $307 to $1,960 or a one-time $9,205 to $105,880, available from March. IBM Knowledge Engineering Environment is available at a one-time $98,000 or $4,900 a month from December; Enhanced Common Lisp Production System for MVS is a one-time $5,000, from the end of this week.

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