Burlington, Massachusetts-based Object Design Inc is expanding its product portfolio to include a broad range of new tools for its ObjectStore object-oriented database. The new tools, which are scheduled for release over the next year and into 1995, will be developed by the company itself, bought via licensed technology, or developed in joint ventures with IBM Corp – which has a 20% equity stake in Object Design – and with other third parties, says president and chief executive Kenneth Marshall. The first development tool to be introduced is support for ParcPlace Systems Inc’s Smalltalk object-oriented programming language, which will enable developers to build applications in either the firm’s current C++ offering or Smalltalk.
Other software developments will be centred around five different areas: the graphical user interface; development environments; report writers; performance tools, and design and analysis software. According to Marshall, Object Design intends to develop a graphical user interface builder in the same league as PowerSoft Corp’s PowerBuilder software. This is the company’s main focus at the moment and it should be introduced by the end of 1994, says Marshall. Next on the development list is a report writer, for which the firm is looking to license technology. The performance tool, which IBM is developing, is expected to be launched later next year. As well as its tool strategy, Object Design is also preparing to introduce ObjectStore Single, a stand-alone version of ObjectStore for personal computers, which will not be distributed or multi-user. This is specifically targeted at developers interested in experimenting with an object-oriented database for the first time. ObjectStore Single is an entry-level simple version of the database and will be priced at a few hundred dollars. The company’s main priority with this product is to seed out the commercial market to get people used to object databases, Marshall says. ObjectStore Single is planned for release by end-1994.