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  1. Technology
August 20, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Messaging company Peerlogic Inc announced its expected agreement with ICL Plc yesterday (CI No 3,478) under which it takes on the exclusive licensing and further development of ICL’s DAIS object request broker. San Francisco-based Peerlogic, which says it’s now re-emerging after a year of hard times, says it paid cash for the deal, but won’t say how much. It says the ICL technology fits well with its own mainframe and large systems heritage: its Pipes messaging middleware product is being used by Bell Atlantic Corp as the distributed infrastucture under a sales and service application supporting 8,000 concurrent users. Customers have been asking Peerlogic to build higher level services on top of its real-time infrastructure for some time, according to Peter Tate, vice president, product marketing and professional services at the company. Recently, it linked Pipes with Iona Technologies Ltd’s ORB through an adapter known as Orbix + Pipes. In the short term, Tate says Peerlogic will concentrate on getting DAIS onto the shortlist for ORB procurements, but then plans to begin work on integrating the two together. He says Peerlogic is now working to build up an entire enterprise middleware suite but won’t say where additional technology is coming from or the timescales on which it is working. Ian Hunter, ICL’s marketing manager for Dais, said that ICL had realized that if Dais were to survive, it needed a stronger market share in the US, something that would have entailed a significant investment in sales and marketing in America. That didn’t fit in with ICL’s increased emphasis on European systems integration and services, he said. Dais is embedded in a number of third party applications, such as S2 Systems Inc’s banking application Network Express, oil refinery applications from manufacturing software house Aspen Technology Inc, and i used by large financial institutions using the Eiffel object programming tool. It has also been embedded within Status Computer Inc’s VOS operating system. The Dais project evolved out of ICL’s work on the pre-Corba ODP object distributed processing ISO standard, and as a result, says ICL, already includes many of the large scale systems features – such as Capsules – that Corba is only now getting to. ICL retains the intellectual property rights, has a non-exclusive reseller license and source code license for the product with rights to modify, and will continue to service and support its own customer base. No staff are moving over as part of the deal, but Peerlogic will keep development in the UK, and is opening a new development base in Manchester, England. It has the rights to approach the ICL developers who’ve been working on the product. It’s important to keep the Dais team as in intact as possible, said Tate, who anticipates Peerlogic will double in size from its present 40 staff as a result of the new deal.

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