DEC seeks to trump all IBM’s aces in the office with host of All-In-One enhancements DEC this week came up with substantial extensions to its office automation offerings, with a gush of flackery that these new, unique products and capabilities add even more power and sophistication to its industry-leading enterprise-wide systems for the office. The […]
DEC seeks to trump all IBM’s aces in the office with host of All-In-One enhancements
DEC this week came up with substantial extensions to its office automation offerings, with a gush of flackery that these new, unique products and capabilities add even more power and sophistication to its industry-leading enterprise-wide systems for the office. The new products and capabilities can be easily integrated with the systems customers have today, according to DEC, which claims that they will also be able to handle the challenges of the future, because they conform to DEC’s consistent approach to hardware, software, networking, and application integration within a single system architecture – a dig at poor old IBM, which is struggling to achieve the same with the this-year, next-year, sometime Systems Application Architecture.
Compound Document Architecture for all
Heading the new products is Compound Document Architecture, CDA, the industry’s first publicly available integrated architecture for creating, revising, managing and distributed compound documents with live links to text, graphics, image and application data across multiple platforms through an enterprise wide DECnet/OSI network. Live links allow automatic updating of data contained in a compound document when the source information is changed. Future versions will also address documents containing speech and full-motion video, DEC promises. DEC also hopes that others will adopt Compound Document Architecture, and will make the specifications available to third parties, so that applications developers and organisations can adopt it as a uniform blueprint for implementing enterprise systems that allow the open exchange of compound documents in revisable form. Companies that have come forward to support the new architecture rival to IBM’s DCA and DIA include Aldus Corp, Apple Computer, Datalogics, Interleaf, Information Dimensions, Keyword, Eastman Kodak Co and Odesta, while Molecular Design Ltd plans to use it for chemical industry software and Polygen for scientific research management software. CDA capabilities are an integral part of DEC’s operating systems, and in the near future toolkits for developers will ship with every Ultrix and VMS system for existing and new installations worldwide, and the specifications have been publicly available to applications developers since last month.
DECvoice offers three-in-one speech
The company also announced DECvoice, describing it as three speech technologies in a single product The DECvoice Response System integrates digitised speech, text-to-speech synthesis and speech recognition – when will the Americans learn that voice recognition, the term DEC insists on using, means distinguishing whether the speaker is President Reagan or Mickey Mouse, and has nothing to do with machine interpretation of the words spoken? to enable any information on the network to be accessed by the most common desktop device – the telephone. DECvoice complements the DECtalk text-to-speech synthesis family of products. And, gloats the Maynard minimaker, Digital’s single system architecture allows additional technologies, such as DECvoice, to be easily integrated into the network without disruption. DECvoice is available immediately in the US and Canada and pricing in the US begins at $54,000 including an 8Mb MicroVAX II, RD54 disk, TK50 controller and four DECvoice lines.
Home and away Distributed Directory Service in All-In-1 2.3
The All-In-One office automation system is enhanced so that DEC reckons it will be even easier to use, manage, and grow. With the new DDS Mailbus Distributed Directory Service, All-In-1 users can send mail to co-workers on the network without having to know their location. To send mail, the user simply types in the name of the recipient and the program seeks her out – whether she’s using All-In-1 or another X.400 system, or IBM’s Profs office package or SNADS SNA Distribution Services. Mailbus Distributed Directory Services are available with the first shipments of All In-1 V2.3 and All-In-1 Starter
. Prices vary according to the configuration. And the 2.3 release of All-In-1 includes the VAX Grammar Checker software – the world’s first artificial intelligence-based software for correcting grammar by analysing sentence structure and identifying grammatical functions and relationships of words in a sentence. All-In-1 integrates VAX Grammar Checker with WPS Plus Version 3.0 word processing software – and we don’t intend to allow the thing anywhere near anything we try to write – and either the thing is useless or DEC didn’t use it on this announcement, because over and over again it uses allows when it means enables: we’ll allow that there are occasions where the two are interchangeable, but they are very few and very far between. A new All-In-1 standardised international base enables development of systems for international operations with a single, consistent approach, and All-In-1 now provides lower cost of operation, long-term storage archiving capabilities, and enhanced support of VAXcluster configurations, DEC claims. All-In-1 2.3 will be available in the US in January. Prices range from $7,088 on a MicroVAX 2000 to $112,219 for VAXcluster 8978.
All-In-1 Starter for beginners
And for All-In-1 beginners, there’s All-In-1 Starter, a packaged set of basic office services including electronic messaging, WPS Plus document processing, filing cabinet management and system management utilities. All-In-1 Starter will be available in the US in March on all VAX computer systems under VMS; US pricing ranges from $5,066 on MicroVAX 2000 to $78,570 for the VAXcluster 8978.
And Computer Associates commits to DEC
DEC also announced an expanded relationship with Computer Associates Inc for joint marketing of the more than 20 busieness applications the Garden City, New York firm has for the VAX.