Computer Associates International Inc is consolidating its powerful presence in the distributed systems management arena by transforming its integrated CA Unicenter TNG package into a component ‘framework,’ trying to steal the thunder from main rival Tivoli Systems Inc which has always claimed to be more ‘open’ by selling its products in this fashion. CA’s move is backed by an announcement Monday that 14 companies will be bundling the TNG framework on their products. Longtime Unicenter supporter Hewlett-Packard Co is to bundle a copy of the framework with every HP-UX Unix server and workstation it ships, and over time add it to the copies of NT that it sells, as well. HP has already integrated Unicenter with its own System Administration Manager and ClusterView monitoring applications. But doesn’t this cloud the future for OpenView, HP’s own home-brewed systems management product, especially since Unicenter is bi-lingual between Unix and NT, something HP’s own product is not? HP people speaking at CA’s massive CA World annual user group conference in New Orleans, insist that OpenView is not in imminent danger, and that the CA the deal simply reinforces the existing six-year relationship the two vendors have had. In addition to HP, CA has around a dozen other framework bundling deals in place with hardware and operating system vendors, including Apple, Unisys, DEC, Fujitsu/ICL, Acer, Tandem, Santa Cruz Operation, Data General, Legato and NCR. CA says the 13 will ship 1.5m copies of the Unicenter framework within 12 months. Apple says both MacOS and Rhapsody systems will be managed by TNG. The framework includes the usual Unicenter features and functions, including an object repository, event correlation, auto discovery, topology mapping and Unicenter application programming interfaces. The APIs are there to encourage more third party tools to write to Unicenter. Unicenter is reputed to represent a quarter of CA’s $4.04bn turnover for 1996, a figure reached in only three years’ worth of sales, with 7,000 customers signed up so far. Its future is closely tied to CA’s object oriented database, Jasmine, finally slated to go into general availability in the next 90 days, developed using technology from Fujitsu Ltd. Jasmine’s been touted for use in TNG since CA went public with the technology six months after its 1995 alliance with Fujitsu (CI No 2,841). Unicenter currently uses the Ingres relational offering.