Compagnie des Machines Bull SA reckons that its ISD Integrated System Development software engineering system – which has just won the backing of four French software majors (CI No 2,190), is the last major component of the Distributed Computing Model, a PCTE-based integrated software engineering environment called Integrated System Development. The first version of Integrated […]
Compagnie des Machines Bull SA reckons that its ISD Integrated System Development software engineering system – which has just won the backing of four French software majors (CI No 2,190), is the last major component of the Distributed Computing Model, a PCTE-based integrated software engineering environment called Integrated System Development. The first version of Integrated System Development comprises a repository based on PCTE Portable Common Tools Environment technology from GIE Emeraude, Louveciennes, and the Neutral Information Model, which in turn is based largely on the Exchange repository interfacing technology from Software One Ltd, of Marlow in the UK. It also includes a control integration system based on IBM Corp’s AIX Software Development Environment Workbench/6000 , which is derived from Hewlett-Packard Co’s SoftBench – Bull has licensed two sets of IBM products for it – the IBM SDE Workbench/6000 and IBM AIX SDE Integrator, and IBM Configuration Management and Version Control products. Integrated System Development is now available for pilot and beta test; another update should be ready by the end of the year, said Steve Kiely, Bull’s vice-president of application services. It will operate on Bull’s DPX/20 workstations and servers, which are of course based on IBM’s Power RISC architecture and AIX operating system. It will also be available for Bull’s GCOS and IBM MVS systems. The PCTE repository and the Neutral Information Model are the key components and enable different tools to share data across distributed environments. To achieve interoperability, information is fed into the PCTE repository via Neutral Information Model, which captures data, tools and even parts of applications in a neutral format, irrespective of design, methodology or programming language. An exchange data interface provides a bridge between the tool and the information model to do this. Other features include a OSF/Motif and Microsoft Corp Windows graphical user interface.
Primary analysis tools
Among the primary analysis tools that the first version supports are products from Bachman Information Systems Inc, KnowledgeWare Inc’s Information Workbench and Information Engineering Workbench, and Intersolv Inc Excelerator, he said. To start small, a client can spend approximately $15,000 for a client-server Cobol application development environment, which includes compiler, development and debugging tools and which can be grown to include a repository, Kiely said. A beginner’s repository plus two tools would cost approximately $50,000, which includes a workstation and the software; then the user would need between one to four weeks of consulting, he added. Kiely gave an example of the problem Bull’s Integrated System Development is intended to solve. Using an Informix-based system, a user is trying to build a manufacturing information system, using pieces from three different applications: a Business Objects pricing package running on a personal computer; a customer file on an Excelerator accounting system on a VAX; and a parts inventory system running on Oracle. ISD, using the export facility of Oracle, for example, exports the parts application to the repository, translating into a neutral format while maintaining the entities and relationships. Then the Neutral Information Model maintains the relationship between the new application and the Oracle application, Kiely said. Kiely insisted that Bull is not trying to do what IBM did not succeed in doing with AD/Cycle. There are two significant differences between ISD and AD/Cycle. IBM took a prescriptive approach, telling the industry what it had to do in order to comply, so vendors had to spend lots of money rebuilding their tools to participate. ISD is a ‘hands-off’ approach with regard to the tools; they stay exactly as they are. Secondly, AD/Cycle was monolothic, it was overbearing. With ISD, in contrast, it takes us about one month on average, at worst three months, to map in and out of the model for any tool, Kiely said. Bull says it surveyed software development m
anagers in its customer base in the US, UK, France, Germany and Italy, who told the company that they needed a way to integrate the many different development tools they use, and to be able to take advantage of new tools. We believe the market has been waiting for a solution to this problem for years, and we will begin providing this solution this month, which we think puts us two years ahead of the industry, Kiely said. There is also a new release of Bull’s Integrated Systems Management software, which includes new Unix functions such as back-up and restore facilities, trouble ticketing and Bull’s BOS/TP Tuxedo-based transaction processing monitor. It also supports Oracle7. BOS/TP extensions include upgrades to Tuxedo 4.2, GCOS 7 mainframe support, Oracle7 and the Informix Corp transaction tool kit. The O2 object database is now supported on the Rios-based DPX/20 Unix systems. And Bull also has new DPS 7000 702 and DPS 9000 500 mainframe models.