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September 21, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Three-tier application development company Open Environment Corp, Boston, Massachusetts, will unveil version 3.0 of its Entera development environment on September 27. Release 3.0 includes a major revision of its NetMinder systems management module, which has been overhauled to handle application services. The newly-dubbed AppMinder is positioned as a componentware management system. The company says it is a logical step-up from the kind of limited application management provided in transaction processing monitors and will enable individual application objects to be managed and manipulated. Demons monitor client activity; a demon manager runs under a graphical interface. Version 3.0’s development kit has been enhanced to provide additional security at the data level, including the use of pre-compiled SQL and other audit trails. It will also provide automatic replication and start-up in the event of failure, a task the company said customers with other three-tier environments, such as Forte Software Inc, must do by coding by hand. Entera currently runs across Distributed Computing Environment or Open Environment’s proprietary Remote Procedure Call mechanism, which it will phase out in the long term. Of a claimed 250 customers, the company said only 30 currently run over Distributed Computing Environment. However, the company expects support for Distributed Computing Environment to become more prevalent – but less visible – as vendors begin to embed more Distributed Computing Environment functions at the operating system level.

Light of day

Entera will work across Common Object Request Brokter Architectures using the services of an as-yet-unspecified Object Request Broker provider by the end of next year. A version that generates Object Linking & Embedding-Common Object Model-compatible programs will happen sooner, in the first quarter of 1996. It will be a while before a Common Object Request Broker Architecture-2 implementation sees the light of day, although Open Environment fully expects the architecture to become the dominant transport mechanism within three to four years. Meantime, with synchronous and blocking-non-blocking communications already in hand, the company is now seeking an asynchronous messaging environment – it might do a cut-down version of store-and-forward queuing itself – and is also talking with folk such a Peer Logic Inc about use of its Pipes naming service. Entera will go up under OpenVMS in a couple of months and an MVS implementation with native Distributed Computing Environment support and links to DB2 will follow at the beginning of 1996. Entera’s MVS connections are currently provided by the NetWise Inc TransAccess technology. Meantime, the company this week introduces Entera Workbench for Windows, enabling users to create three-tier applications from what are now Windows-based development tools. Prices start at $8,000. It can interface to widely-used Windows tools such as Visual Basic via wizards; 32-bit OCX, Object Linking & Embedding extensions, can invoke Remote Procedure Calls through Cambridge, Massachusetts-based ObjectPower technology. Open Environment is also offering the ability to create Cobol application via AppDesigner for Entera, the anticipated implementation of New York-based Magna Software Corp’s Magna X environment, plus wizards for Visual Basic or PowerBuilder. Prices for the thing start at $50,000 for five developers.

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