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December 4, 2005

NetManage consolidates IBM iSeries middleware products

NetManage, the 15-year old company best known for the Rumba AS/400 screen scraper, is consolidating and reducing the price point of its iSeries web middleware. The new combine offering is being branded OnWeb for IBM iSeries.

By CBR Staff Writer

Previously, its web middleware consisted of two offerings, including a server and rendering engine. The first piece, NetManage Management Server, provided the ability to host, manage, and web-enable web-enabled iSeries applications without need for an appserver. The rendering piece, OnWeb-to-Host, provides web-based terminal emulation, representing terminal emulating screens in web browser or mobile device environments.

With the web-enabling, the server piece enables you to encapsulate iSeries application functions as Enterprise Java Beans or .NET constructs, or exposed as web services. In so doing, you could compose services that might represent functions from multiple iSeries applications.

Additionally, they have ported the Management Server on OnWeb from UNIX and Windows to run native on the iSeries OS/400 operating environment.

Of course, IBM also offers middleware products that web-enable iSeries applications. However, they typically require a gateway that is not dissimilar to the OnWeb offerings, plus WebSphere. NetManage claims its combined offering, running native on the iSeries, should perform better than the more complex IBM offering.

Nonetheless, while its products compete with IBM middleware, NetManage said it has been working with IBM’s partner program and hopes to get IBM logo certification in the near future. It hopes that certification, in turn, will drive new third-party deals with application providers looking for efficient web hosting.

Towards that end, NetManage is getting more aggressive on price. While both previous products sold for $19,300 total, the new combined offering will retail for $8500. The product will be available for trial download and purchase later this month.

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