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INFORMATION BUILDERS: A MUTED RESPONSE TO FOCUS GENERATOR FROM UNIX USERS

Despite the presence of Pyramid Technology amongst the exhibitors, the recent announcement of Focus for Apollo workstations, and the availability of the first real production versions of Focus under Unix this month, the minds of representatives from Information Builders Inc and the 280 delegates at the annual European Focus applications generator user conference and exhibition seemed firmly set on more traditional markets. Unix is a funny market, said president and co-founder Gerald Cohen: you have to go out and find Unix users. The Focus applications generator and database management system now has an estimated worldwide user base of 350,000, and in the UK there are 160 IBM mainframe and 60 VAX Focus installations, and 2,500 running on micros under PC-DOS. Information Builders sets up a separate development group for each operating system at its central Manhatten headquarters, the most recently established being the Unix division, which currently is the only one not paying its own way. As the result of pressure from AT&T, the first announced implementation was for AT&T’s flag-ship 3B range at the end of last year, but the real push will be behind Apollo, NCR and Pyramid sales, with two or three more imple-mentations likely to be announced soon. Cohen said he did not see existing Focus users wanting to take Unix, but felt that the availability of Focus on Apollo workstations would make the product more appealing to IBM users. Large organisations have a number of different machines, and want a common piece of software, he said. Apart from this, Information Builders is interested in the huge orders originating from governments and corporate users, particularly in the US, but it has not draditionally sold into the vertical markets where Unix is also strong. Cohen said that the surprise area for increased sales of Focus had been on networked Personal Computer installations. Nevertheless, he remainbs confident that we will eventually build up a significant Unix user base.

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CBR Staff Writer

CBR Online legacy content.