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February 15, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

The TSB Trust Company, the insurance subsidiary of TSB Group Plc, plans to build a networked programmers workbench, using mostly off-the-shelf components, and has won a Department of Trade and Industry contribution of UKP110,000 for the effort. The money comes out of the long-lived Software Engineering Demonstrator Initiative, which has been trying to allocate UKP1m for projects such as this since its inception 15 months ago. So far it has allocated just over half the fund for six projects. The off-the shelf products that are being considered by TSB include the Michael Jackson – of Jackson structured programming fame – Programmers Design Facility and JSP Cobol as well as Micro Focus Plc’s VS Cobol Workbench, compiler and Animator. The plan is to take not only as much of the development load from the firm’s Amdahl and Sperry mainframes as possible, but some of the testing as well. Programmers Design Facility from Jackson supports the emulation of transaction environments such as CICS on an MS-DOS micro, avoiding the need to spend expensive on-line time integrating Cobol code that could have already been compiled and tested on a micro, with CICS. TSB hopes to build an interface between the Micro Focus’ products and Jackson’s. The Trust Company is already a committed user of Hoskyns’ PMW project management software for MS-DOS, which would be used to manage projects across the network of 300 personal computers that it is hoping to build for its development teams. The network will be made up of Banyan network software running on an Ungermann-Bass Inc Net/1, and has already been tested in the development of the Life Administration system for the Trust Company, with a project team of 40 networked developers. The Industry Department gets monthly reports on programmer productivity for its money, plus guest appearances at conferences to tell the user community how it all works out. TSB reckons that the UKP110,000 will cover about half of the total cost.

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