Applix Inc, Westborough, Massachusetts, is preparing a home-grown development environment for creating applications incorporating its Applixware office suite which includes a real-time spreadsheet, word processor, graphics, electronic mail, SQL gateway and other modules. Builder, as it is called, will be out in September, priced at from $2,500 per development licence, with no run-time licences. The […]
Applix Inc, Westborough, Massachusetts, is preparing a home-grown development environment for creating applications incorporating its Applixware office suite which includes a real-time spreadsheet, word processor, graphics, electronic mail, SQL gateway and other modules. Builder, as it is called, will be out in September, priced at from $2,500 per development licence, with no run-time licences. The move is part of a transition that the newly-quoted company hopes to make from being primarily an office suite company to an application development house. Strange, because for some time we have regarded Applix as a real-time spreadsheet company, not an office suite provider per se. Victim of its own marketing perhaps? Meantime, the spreadsheet has proved something of a hit in financial markets – and is a rising star among high-tech manufacturers. It already accounts for around half of the company’s revenues, with a claimed 5,000 licensees. The spreadsheet has proven particularly suited to the ‘publish and subscribe’ data distribution model where information, either received from external sources or generated by the spreadsheet, is sent directly to subscribers, to any number of client applications, spreadsheets, databases or other programs distributed around an organisation. The data is sent as it is generated, rather than to a single database or application, or to clients as weekly or monthly reports. Its attraction to Wall Street is obvious in this context: traders have their spreadsheets and applications updated in real time from all kinds of information feeds that have been harnessed by Applix. In manufacturing it enables different planning and production departments to keep up with events and production line movement around other parts of the organisation. The company, which already has a bag full of financial news and information feeds integrated with the spreadsheet, last week won Berkeley, California-based Financial Engineering Associates Inc as a customer.
The Californian has migrated its Global Risk Measurement and Interest Rate Calculator derivatives tools to Applix and prices go from $1,000 to $20,000 on Sun Microsystems Inc workstations. The company will also implement its J P Morgan RiskMetrics-derived Outlook module for risk management on the spreadsheet. Applix has also won Dow Jones Telerate, which will sell the spreadsheet with its trading systems around the world. Meantime, under a five-year agreement, Bloomberg LP users will be able to manipulate data through the spreadsheet. Bloomberg will offer Applix Words & Graphics software to its customers so that data can be live-linked into their documents. Applix said the National Association of Securities Dealers has also chosen its spreadsheet, running on Sun boxes, for a new market surveillance program. The spreadsheet costs from $2,700. In addition to its Builder development environment, Applix, as expected since before its flotation, is in the process of moving all of its products over to Windows NT, and will begin general deliveries from September with release 4.2 of its product set. The company expects half of its business to be on NT-based products within two or three years. It has 167 employees and said revenue form its public offering will be spent on expending marketing and development departments. It is working with Advanced Visual Systems Inc and massively parallel processing specialist Convex Computer Corp.