Blyth Software Ltd, one of the European software houses that has floated itself on the US Nasdaq market, is dusting off its plans to enter the Unix market, mothballed last year during a difficult product transition. The company, which under the blanket name Blyth Holdings Inc consists of Foster City, California-based Blyth Software Inc and […]
Blyth Software Ltd, one of the European software houses that has floated itself on the US Nasdaq market, is dusting off its plans to enter the Unix market, mothballed last year during a difficult product transition. The company, which under the blanket name Blyth Holdings Inc consists of Foster City, California-based Blyth Software Inc and Bracknell, Berkshire-based Blyth Software Ltd, struck a deal with IBM Corp back in January to produce an OS/2 version of its Omnis database and cross-system client-server applications tool – and now the company hopes the deal can be extended to include IBM’s AIX as well. It also has its eye on other IBM technologies, such as MQSeries. While there is nothing confirmed to date, Blyth says it was at least three-quarters of the way through the AIX implementation when it had to halt the work last year, and that things wouldn’t take too long to tie up. At the time, HP-UX and Solaris implementations were also under development. Blyth’s Omnis product came originally from the Macintosh world in the mid-1980s, but now also runs under Windows NT, Windows95 and 3.X. The SQL-compliant Omnis database is fairly unpretentious, aimed at small local network-based workgroups, but over the last few years Blyth has been concentrating on its development tools, designed to build portable, client-server applications. These were first introduced with Omnis 7. Strengths include a version control system, change management, powerful debugging, a modeless development environment, cross-system graphical user interface tool kit, and notation, a language feature that moves Omnis in the direction of object programming. Full support for object-oriented programming, along with the now obligatory Web additions to Omnis and upgrades to the database, should begin appearing later this year. Blyth got into trouble when, with Omnis 7, it upped the price of its software to $5,000 from $450 in one fell swoop, posting a $12.4m loss in 1995 on revenue of $16.7m, and shedding around 25% of its workforce. The loss was cut to $5.6m this year, though revenue also declined to $13.7m. It has now split its offerings into three: Omnis Workgroup, Departmental and Enterprise, with corresponding price-tags. Two of its Web additions may see the light as separate products. Web Vault will provide secure access to corporate data on Web sites and Web Management extends the Omnis version control software to HyperText Mark-up Language Web pages. At its recent developers meeting in Dallas, it also demonstrated a Java-based Forms builder. IBM is thought to have been particularly interested in the healthy third party application package market for Omnis. The OS/2 version became available last week.