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May 23, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

ICL Plc will launch English-language versions of the Intelligent Pad object-oriented visual programming tool and the ODBII object-oriented database, developed by parent company Fujitsu Ltd, at ObjectWorld in the UK in June. Intelligent Pad has been available in Japan since the end of last year running under Microsoft Corp Windows, but the ICL version also supports SunOS, Solaris, Macintosh and the Progress Software Corp database. An HP-UX version is planned too. The idea is for developers to build objects or pads on screen, which each represent different functions – displaying pie chart data, for instance. Pads are joined together by dragging them on top of each other to create a more complex application, which, the firm claims, can be decomposed just as easily. Any object, including Microsoft’s Object Linking & Embedding, can be represented as a pad, and users also have the option of encapsulating and developing C++ pads. ODBII, meanwhile, was born out of Fujitsu’s Jasmin project, which began in 1988, and finally emerged on the Japanese market in February 1994. The product is described as a hybrid between relational and persistent language database models because it offers full query support via an ObjectSQL-like interface. It can also link up to all the relational databases. ODBII is targeted at configuration management, engineering and spatial design and multimedia applications, and runs on SunOS, Solaris and ICL’s DRS/6000s. Windows NT support is planned for next year. The Japanese version links into Fujitsu’s own tools, but C and C++ application programming interfaces have been added to the ICL version. ODBII includes interfaces to Intelligent Pad and ICL is also talking to Delft, Holland-based Westmount Technology BV about integrating its I-CASE object analysis and design tool with the database. Both products are scheduled for release sometime this year. Meantime, ICL finally started shipping its DAIS object-oriented development and integration environment last week. A personal computer development licence costs ?5,000 – run-time licences are ?200. Unix versions are ?30,000 and ?1,600 respectively, and for VME mianframes it costs ?60,000 and ?6,000 respectively.

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