German CASE vendor Softlab GmbH has integrated its recently unwrapped Enabler object repository’s source-code control technology with a bunch of graphical front-end utilities for use with Microsoft Corp’s Visual Studio 97 developer suite and is targeting the combination for mid-to-large Windows developer teams for software configuration management tasks. It claims the combination, Visual Enabler – which includes Microsoft’s source code control mechanism – is the best low-cost, feature-rich suite in its class. It includes one-button build, for example. It believes rival Continuus/CM, ClearCase, PCMS Dimensions and Aide de Comp solutions offer high-end, but high-cost configuration management, while systems such as PVCS StarTeam, Source Integrity, Visual SourceSafe are cheap but functionally challenged. Visual Enabler supports Visual C++, Visual Basic and Visual J++ and is initially up on NT servers with 128Mb RAM or more and Windows clients. Softlab says it will be doing HP-UX, AIX, DEC Unix, ICL and Fujitsu Unixes in the fourth quarter, – its own internal teams will need the Unix versions – plus Solaris in future. Softlab might re-name the products. It says it is asking for opinions. Fat client-based internet/browser access is promised. The 26-year-old vendor acquired by BMW Inc back in 1992, is trying to re-invent itself as an object-oriented repository company, although it still generates significant revenue from its Maestro CASE suite. As well as Select Software, Softlab claims Information Builders Inc and Cincom Systems Inc as Enabler partners. Information builder is building its new Cactus product on top of Enabler. It thinks Gartner Group estimate that the repository market will be worth $100m this year is on the low side. Softlab’s business is split 50-50 between product sales and its services business. It’s got 50 people in the US and goes only through direct channels in the Americas. The company claims it made a profit on $130m revenue in 1996.