Unikix, the 18-month-old CICS-under-Unix emulator pioneered by Unicorn Systems Inc and now owned by Groupe Bull SA, is being launched into the UK for the first time by Brentford, Middlesex-based Bull Information Systems Ltd. Unikix, acquired back in January by Bull’s US systems integration arm, Integris (CI No 1,845), is expected to boost the group’s […]
Unikix, the 18-month-old CICS-under-Unix emulator pioneered by Unicorn Systems Inc and now owned by Groupe Bull SA, is being launched into the UK for the first time by Brentford, Middlesex-based Bull Information Systems Ltd. Unikix, acquired back in January by Bull’s US systems integration arm, Integris (CI No 1,845), is expected to boost the group’s drive towards being an out-and-out systems integrator. Unikix, installed at just six sites in the US although available over there since late 1990 (due to a failure by Unicorn to market the product effectively, says Bull), is a development and transaction processing environment for Cobol-based applications developed to run under CICS on IBM mainframes. It provides the capability to implement CICS applications for various Unix environments without source code modification, and enables the development of new applications to run on both IBM mainframes and Unix systems. The usefulness of having transaction processing applications down on the workstation, the company says, is for example to bring sales order processing information closer to the salesperson, who can play around with the data in a windows-based environment, oblivious of the complex processing going on behind the scenes. Unikix currently supports Pyramid Technology Corp, Sun Microsystems Inc, Bull and IBM RS/6000 Unix workstations; further implementations will be directed by demand, says Bull’s UK systems integration director Philip Crawford – a Hewlett-Packard Co version being the next likely implementation. Bull says it has invested heavily in getting the product up to date. By enabling IBM Cobol/VSAM CICS applications to run on Unix systems, says Crawford, users are offered the first easy step in moving off their proprietary mainframes; he reckons that Unikix facilitates 200% to 600% long-term cost-of-ownership savings for a typical customer. Unikix is positioned aggressively against IBM’s announced but not available CICS for AIX. Brian Gunn, Bull’s business manager for systems integration in Livingston, Scotland, says it could be up to two years before IBM brings out its AIX offering: by then Unikix will be far ahead in terms of added value. But it is Unikix’s openness that is seen as the clincher – while CICS AIX will support only AIX, Unikix can be converted for any Unix version. It costs anywhere between UKP4,000 and UKP250,000; Bull has set up a freephone number to deal with customer enquiries.