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January 27, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:11pm


By CBR Staff Writer

The Santa Cruz Operation Inc is now offering a version of its Tarantella middleware that translates between Sun Microsystems Inc’s Java programming language and legacy character-based applications on mainframes, Unix machines or AS/400s (CI No 3,055). The product is said to enable all kinds of applications to run on a Java client without, the company claims, requiring a single line of code to be re-written. It makes X Window applications and SQL data stored on Unix servers accessible from Java browsers. There is also a server plug-in enables IBM 3270, 5250 and Windows applications to be viewed from a browser running on a personal computer or network computer, so that graphical front-ends can be added to character-based order processing applications. Such applications are not used to browsers appearing out of the blue, so Tarantella works behind the scenes to maintain a session between browser and Unix application. In theory, explains Tony Baines, director of strategic marketing at Santa Cruz, you could shut down a browser in one office, fly to another, fire up a browser, and access the same session. Potential customers for the product are value added resellers who have written a manufacturing, accounting or order processing application on top of Unix or the AS/400. The product comes out of the client integration division, which houses the Windows-to- Unix products from the company’s acquisitions of UK software houses IXI Ltd and Visionware Ltd. Baines denies that the combination of Tarantella, the Network Computer and the Web browser will make IXI’s and VisionWare’s products redundant. Santa Cruz will enhance them, he pledges, as it sees a world in which Network Computers and personal computers co-exist. Personal computer users will still need to access Unix applications, and Unix users will need to access Windows software. As evidence that his company is enhancing these maturing products, Baines cites VisionFS, software released at the tail end of last year (CI No 2,962). Installed on a server, VisionFS enables personal computer users to store files on it, with no software load on the client system. Tarantella will run on SCO OpenServer, UnixWare and the forthcoming 64-bit Gemini release, as well as IBM Corp’s AIX, Hewett-Packard Co’s HP-UX, Sun Microsystems Inc’s Solaris, Digital Unix and Sequent Computer Systems Inc’s Dynix. Runtime pricing will be announced before summer, when Tarantella-enabled applications start to come on stream.

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