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November 1, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Simware Inc, a six-year-old, privately owned Ottawa-based company with its own way of linking terminals and peripherals to IBM mainframes bypassing SNA, has now established a subsidiary in the UK. The new British arm, Simware Ltd, will be based in Reading and will trade directly with customers, replacing a three year distributorship arrangement with The European Software Company, Tesc. The $Can12m-a-year company claims to place a fanatical emphasis on its commitment to service, and almost equal emphasis on its software only communications implementations, making products cheaper, more flexible and faster. The product line is designed to span three interrelated areas for MVS/VTAM, VM, VM/VTAM, IBM’s XT, AT, 3270, PS/2 and Apple Macintosh systems: 3270 emulation for micros and ASCII terminals; mainframe to micro integration; and SNA outbound access to non-SNA resources. For the first of these, Simware offers SIM-3278, a host-based protocol conversion package that provides full 3270 emulation for the end-user via X25 or dial-up line connections. The product supports MVS/VTAM, VM and VM/VTAM terminals, and can also be used in conjunction with terminals running its SIMPC Master. In addition, the company has just announced SIM-3278 TCP/IP, which offers identical emulation capabilities to users sitting on TCP/IP local and wide area networks. IBM’s own – recently anounced – version doesn’t do anything unless it has this product, commented a company spokesman. According to Simware Ltd chief Alan Jones, the conversion software is not a big central processing unit cycle taker: even when supporting between 200 and 400 on-line users, total drain on the CPU never exceeds 3% to 5% of available processing power. Meanwhile, Apple Mac and MS-DOS micro-to-IBM mainframe integration is offered via an extension of the SIM-3278 technology. Elegant file transfer Elegant and error corrective file transfer is provided in the shape of the micro-based SIMPC Master or SIM MAC3270, combined, in turn, with a SIM-Xfer host package. Host-to-micro links are supported via SNA, asynchronous, bisynchronous and X25 connections, together with almost all the major 3270 coaxial boards, substantiating corporate claims that PC Master software products operate in virtually all hardware environments. Both products also feature a proprietary script language, enabling activities taking place between the host and the micro to be automated: dial ups, down- and up-loading of data, and file transfer and extraction can, for example, be conducted overnight. For SNA outbound to non-SNA resources, the company provides SIM Dialout and SIM-PassThru host-based packages. The former allows MVS/VTAM users to dial out and access any non-SNA systems that support X25, while the latter provides a similar function for non-IBM mainframes via bisynchronous or channel-to-channel connections, and is apparently bigger and cheaper than IBM’s own package. Pricing is complicated by the site licence, 1,000 copy licence, or single product options offered by the firm: however, a typical large volume licence for both SIM PC and SIM Mac 3270 costs UKP100, with SIM 3278 priced at UKP15,000, the Dialout and Passthru products at UKP22,000, and Xfer for VM/CS, MVS and CICS priced at UKP5,000, UKP7,500 and UKP10,000 respectively. In the UK, the company hopes to swell its current seven-strong workforce to 20, and generate between UKP1.5m to UKP2.Om in its first year. Alongside the 25 key IBM customers inherited from Tesc, Jones plans to target government departments and large organisations.

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