Software AG is to concentrate its development efforts on its fourth-generation language Natural, according to Stuart Miller, who is president of the company’s Reston, Virginia-based North American subsidiary. Speaking to a US trade weekly before the launch of the windowing version of Natural, Miller said that Software AG wanted the language to be viewed as a strategic product on a par with the Adabas database management system. Before the end of the year, he said, it would be able to interface to IBM’s DB2 relational database. Like D & B Computing Services Inc, which announced a similar strategy at UK distributor RCMS’s launch of the windowing version of its Nomad 2 language (CI No 632), Software AG seems to be accepting that it will not be able to compete directly with DB2 and other relational databases, so is concentrating insted on add-on products. The new version of Natural took four years to develop and is reckoned by test site users to produce performance gains of between 70% and 80%. In addition to windowing, it offers editors for data definition and follow-up stages of applications development, an ability to call subprograms in either Natural or third-generation languages that are external to the running program module and therefore usable by a variety of applications, a split-screen mapping facility that allows the display of data layouts from the Software AG Predict data dictionary, and, claims Miller, a structured mode of programming that enforces certain syntax constructs for production applications and allows for easier maintenance. Natural 2 runs in IBM’s CICS, IMS/DC and TSO teleprocessing environments as well as VM/CMS and works with Adabas or IBM VSAM and DL/1 files. It is scheduled for delivery in May at a price of $25,000 to $150,000 according to the size of mainframe on which it is to be run.
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