Antares Alliance Group, the joint venture between Amdahl Corp and Electronic Data Systems Corp, has brought its Huron development tool to the desktop with Huron ObjectStar 3.0. The high-end rapid application development and deployment tool has, until this version, lacked a popular desktop environment; it supported only Motif in previous versions. With Objectstar 3.0, however, […]
Antares Alliance Group, the joint venture between Amdahl Corp and Electronic Data Systems Corp, has brought its Huron development tool to the desktop with Huron ObjectStar 3.0. The high-end rapid application development and deployment tool has, until this version, lacked a popular desktop environment; it supported only Motif in previous versions. With Objectstar 3.0, however, client-server applications, with graphical interfaces, can be written that incorporate legacy systems, the company claimed. It is now a three-tiered system, said Oliver Thierry, marketing vice-president of Antares. The tiers are the mainframe, the data object broker; the server, the execution environment; and the desktop personal computer, which handles the presentation of the data through its various client operating systems. Scrapping enterprise-wide legacy systems and starting again is obviously too time-consuming and costly, so ObjectStar enables developers to re-develop parts of the system selectively, where needed, and re-deploy them across the appropriate operating systems at the presentation, logic and data layers. The logic of the code and the interface can be updated, while still having access to the original legacy data, claimed the company. The tool incorporates a proprietary rule-based language that translates business processes into objects. The processes are described using a set of 17 verbs that define all the elements.
Rules as objects
At the data layer, the MetaStor repositories enable developers to make the logic of the system run at the front, middle, or back-end of the hardware – and any combination of the three – using what is known as ‘dynamic partitioning’. This links the objects dynamically during execution, making the eventual system scalable across the range of client-server architectures, the company said. Any object developed in any Huron system will execute on any other Huron system, said John Paton, European director of sales and marketing at Antares. The distributed MetaStor repository is used to store tables, interfaces, reports and the rules as objects, rather than having them embedded in code, thus making the development and deployment process much faster. Huron dates back to 1991 as a commercial system Amdahl (CI No 1,644) took 10 years to develop. Paton said the architecture of the original Huron did not have to be adapted for client-server as it already had a peer-to-peer model in the engine. All that has been added is openness and the compatibilty of legacy systems with desktop environments, he said. With the original version Amdahl signed up General Motors Co’s Electronic Data Systems Inc, American Express Co, AT&T Corp, Citicorp and the spies, as Paton referred to the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Of those, EDS decided to get involved and Antares was born, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. EDS currently holds 20% of the venture and has an option to take a further 10% should another partner join the fray. Thierry said the name ‘Huron’ would be dropped after the next release, beacuse of its mainframe-only connotations. ObjectStar will support Microsoft Corp’s Windows95, Windows 3.1 and 3.11 at the desktop. At the server level, Windows NT, HP-UX, AIX, OS/2 and Solaris are supported, in addition to mainframe operating systems. It incorporates a C/C++ application programming interface, which means that it can be invoked by, and incorporated into, any tool that recognises such code. It also supports Object Linking & Embedding 2.0 and Open Database Connectivity, giving SQL and other such links into ObjectStar. Price is dependent on customers’ requirements, but the company said the price per user is the same, irrespective of the operating systems deployed. Huron ObjectStar will be available at the start of October.