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  1. Technology
October 14, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

AS/400 high availability software maker Lakeview Technology has purchased Praxis International, which sells so-called data transformation software that allows heterogeneous systems with different or similar databases to share information. In recent years, Lakeview Tech, of Oak Brook, Illinois, has come under increasing pressure from Toronto’s DataMirror Corporation, which sells midrange high availability software as well as data transformation software. Last month, for instance, DataMirror bought mpc-Software GmbH, a German distributor of Lakeview’s MIMIX software. With the Praxis buy, Lakeview has taken a powerful swing back at DataMirror and its other major competitor, Vision Solutions. (Both Lakeview Tech and Praxis, which is headquartered Waltham, Massachusetts, are private companies, so the financial terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.) Vision Solutions offers the OMS/400 high availability suite for AS/400s as well as the Symbiator line of products for bi-directional data transformation among AS/400, Unix and NT servers. Lakeview Tech is the market leader in AS/400 high availability, with over 2,000 licenses and about 75% of the market, but it needed to buy Praxis to keep its products and marketing message on par with its competitors. Prospects for Praxis, which just announced version 3.0 of its OmniEnterprise suite of data transformation products last May – the product supports DB2 (MVS only), Oracle, SQL Server, Informix and Sybase data bases and MVS, Windows NT, Solaris, HP-UX and AIX operating systems – have also been made significantly rosier now that the Lakeview gives it name-brand recognition in the midrange market. The first thing Lakeview is going to do is add the AS/400’s DB2/400 as a target data base for OmniEnterprise; it is likely that it will add DB2/6000 to the list as well, since IBM will insist on support for all of its strategic platforms and data bases in order to help Lakeview push its products. In the meantime, IBM’s Global Services division has signed an agreement with Lakeview to push its MIMIX line to AS/400 customers looking to buy high availability software as part of a broader disaster recovery plan. Down the road, Lakeview could look at leveraging its substantial high availability expertise in the NT and Unix market. So far, all the company has to say on the topic is that Microsoft’s Wolfpack is just a bunch of APIs, not a comprehensive product. Sounds like an opportunity if we ever heard one. No matter what, Lakeview Tech says that it is now well-positioned to take advantage in the increasing market for high availability software now. According to surveys performed by Gartner Group, less than 5% of large organizations that need such software currently have it, but the proliferation of e-commerce will bring as many as 25% of these companies to the fold by 2000 or 2001. á

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