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June 12, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:36pm

UNIDATA GETS CLOSER TO MICROSOFT

By CBR Staff Writer

After squeezing what it could out of its traditional Pick and Prime Information markets, Denver, Colorado-based Unidata Inc has turned its attention to Microsoft Corp, object-relational and web technologies for new sources of revenue. To begin with, users of its nested database can now work within and alongside Microsoft BackOffice application, operating system, database and transaction environments. Universal Data Access-based (OLE DB) applications will be able to access information stored in Unidata or SQL Server databases using a package which will combine Windows NT, SQL Server, Unidata, OLE DB and Microsoft Transaction Server. It’s not clear yet who will be selling which pieces, but it gives Microsoft an opportunity to tap the 400 VARs and 500,000 end users Unidata claims it has. In addition to providing an OLE DB interface to Unidata – and supporting Microsoft’s COM and DCOM distributed object technologies – Unidata is also developing, with Microsoft, an SQLator technology that’ll enable users to move data wholesale from Unidata databases into SQL Server databases. Give the inmates the keys perhaps? No, acting like an open systems company and giving those users who have already made the decision to go Microsoft environments the tools to do it, the company says.

Falcon

As well as its Microsoft work, Unidata’s on the brink of announcing what might be best described as its ‘Universal Server’ offering. It’s put Unidata together with the O2 Technology Inc database and come up with a hybrid object-relational code-named Falcon that will support extended data types just like the big boys, but also comes with O2 specialties such as its Java binding work. Will Unidata buy O2? It’s still not clear (CI No 3,168). The big card Unidata’s still playing close to its chest is its hope that Microsoft might use Falcon as its repository for object data. Unidata claims that Microsoft’s use of the repository it co-designed in conjunction with Texas Instruments Software is geared towards storing meta data – information about information – and not data itself. Furthermore Microsoft’s emphasis on universal access to multiple data stores rather than providing many way to access a single Universal Server database like the other relational companies means it lacks offerings in some areas. Unidata says it’ll continue to enhance its base Unidata technology and also sells a web-based application development tool called RedBack. The privately-held company claims it made a profit on sales of $50m in 1996 and employs 350 staff.

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