Sage Software Inc of Rockville, Maryland last week announced an agreement with Software Generation (1987) Ltd, a new London company founded to specialise in IBM-based computer-aided software engineering tools, to distribute the Sage Application Productivity System family of software engineering products in the UK, and to manage its distribution in Europe. The Application System is aimed at users of most IBM mainframes and Personals: it is supported under MVS and XA, VM, and retails at UKP150,000 a time. Managing director of Software Generation is Vic Morris, who set up the UK end of Cullinet Software Inc back in 1979 and rose to senior vice president, international operations before returning to the UK at the beginning of the year. He claims that the product can cut programming time by half as it enables analysts and end users to draw, prototype and test-drive planned systems before final programming occurs. Although the product is based on Cobol technology, Software Generation does not believe the Application System will lose out to newer products that use artificial intelligence techniques, because most business users are still locked into Cobol and would find it too expensive and time consuming to change. The nearest competitor in the field, he reckons, is Pansophic, with its Telon product. Morris claims he would be happy to sell six to eight of the systems this year and added that there are already 120 customers in the US. Two systems are already in use in the UK, sold by the previous licencee of the program; they are at the Sedgwick Group and Firemans Fund, the US insurance company owned by American Express that has operations on the UK south coast. Software Generation employs five people at present but expects to increase that to 12 in the near future.