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August 3, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 6:51pm

SANGA GETS ON WITH WHAT JAVA IS GOOD AT: INTERFACES

By CBR Staff Writer

Sanga International Inc was one of the first Java start-up companies last year to advocated the use of the language for enterprise applications. Many observers scoffed at suggestions that ‘Java could operate in this space, and, at the time, the scoffers would have been right. The performance and robustness of the 1.02 and prior cuts of the Java Developer’s Kit (JDK), Sun Microsystems Inc’s implementation – was just not up to coping with the demands of the enterprise. That’s not our opinion, it’s the opinion of Sanga’s chief technology officer Shaun Maine, twin brother of company chief executive Shane Maine, which together with ex-Lotus Development Corp engineer Mark Lussier to form the nucleus of Burlington, Massachusetts-based Sanga, whose parent company is based in Barbados. Sanga started off with ambitions to produce a shrink-wrapped groupware package called Sanga Pages. It had the technology in place, but soon realized trying to take on the likes of Microsoft Corp and Lotus was an exercise in futility for a company started in a McDonald’s in Ontario early in 1996. So, Sanga licensed its core Java groupware to Corel Corp for a reported $8m in December for inclusion into Corel Office for Java. That product has had one of the most slippery delivery dates in recent years, and is now due September, according to Corel. But anyway Sanga moved on and split its Pages technology into Java components. It ported the components to JDK 1.1, which Maine says is enterprise-capable – without going into specifics – and made them JavaBeans compliant. Now all the company has to do is write each component once and use Beans to adapt the users interface for whatever the customers require. Sanga uses the language for the purpose its most suited for right now, that of being the multi-platform interface between legacy applications and client browsers. Sanga is concentrating on vertical markets such as telecommunications, with Bell Canada among others, finance, with Bank of America and education. The company has developed an intranet/extranet application for students to sign on for college courses. Maine emphasized that all its components are used only in intranets and extranets – the internet is so far off limits, although the college in Ontario that uses the components plans to enable students to sign on from home by September next year. The company partners with systems integrators, including IBM Global Services, EDS and SHL Systemhouse Inc. Sanga’s components so far include a data source interface, for hooking into JDBC database and transaction servers, a network interface for linking to servers wherever they are on a network and an object-relational mapping interface, among a long list of others. The next two markets Sanga is going after is the government and transportation and it’s also getting very excited about IBM’s port of the Java virtual machine, which is due in December. The green screen market then has a reason to replace its terminals with network computers. Sanga had partnered with Sun early on in the gestation of the JavaStation, but that has taken rather longer than planned – Sanga seems to be cozying up to IBM and its network computers now, which are the ones most likely to replace the terminals after all.

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