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March 2, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

RCMS Computing Services Ltd has announced that the next release, version 400, of D & B Computing Services Inc’s fourth generation language and database management system Nomad2 – to which it has exclusive UK rights – will include windows. The Horton Manor, Berkshire-based company, formed last June by senior UK management of D & B Computing Services when the Dun And Bradstreet Corp subsidiary pulled out of direct participation in this country, says that the development will lead to dramatic productivity increases and brings the ease of use of the Personal Computer to 3270 users. D & B senior product manager Rob Vonderhaar, in London for RCMS’s presentation, said that up to now the IBM mainframe environment has not been easy to use: it is not intuitive, whether under VM/CMS or MVS/TSO you have to respond to a prompt at the top of the screen although the prompt itself is at the bottom. It is not obvious that when ‘more…’ appears, you type alt F2 to clear the screen. Furthermore, according to Vonderhaar, new output overwrites existing output, which in any case is limited to 24 lines of 80 characters; the VM user can only recall up to 12 previous commands; error correction reauires the command to be completely re-input, and, worst of all, forces the user to think sequentially. The new product, on the other hand, allows users to work on more than one thought at a time; new output doesn’t overwrite old output – if the window is full the output merely scolls off screen and can be quickly recalled; there is context error handling which highlights the users’ mistakes; and the screen size limitation is removed. In addition, the menu-driven Nomad Windows offers zooming and panning, and allows users to customise their own function keys. Nomad2 400 will be available at the end of March. It is free to those with RCMS’ standard maintenance contract. A further release of Nomad2, tentatively version 450, offering screen-building facilities is likely in the late Autumn. But RCMS managing director Chris Reveley and Rob Vonderhaar see a change of emphasis in Nomad2’s future marketing. Rather than as a combined applications generator and database, Nomad2 – its greatest strength is its data description language – will be sold primarily as an add-on for IBM’s DB2 under the name SQL/Nomad, although the full database version will continue to be developed. Nomad2 ranges from UKP22,000 to UKP85,000 depending on processor size while SQL/Nomad is UKP58,000.

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