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London-based Sterling Software UK has launched a fast executive decision support tool designed to be capable of processing millions of items of on-line information and presenting results in seconds. The IBM mainframe-based data anlaysis tool runs under IMS/DC and CICS was developed by Advanced Systems of Naples with Sterling’s Answer/DB data extraction tool. As a result it supports European languages including French, Italian, German, Spanish and Portuguese and can access and extract fields of information from multiple mainframe production files and databases including IMS, DL1, DB2, SQL/DS, IDMS, Adabas and VSAM. Sterling attributes its speed to its reiteration capability which permits it to pose new questions starting from the results of the last one. This means that users do not have to start again from the beginning if they decide to pursue a different angle. Sterling Manager also encodes and organises data in its own format based on an inverted structure which also speeds its response times. Sterling reckons users have received answers to a question that involved searching two million entities in 30 seconds. Sterling Manager costs between UKP25,000 and UKP40,OOO.

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