Intersolv Inc, formed from the merger of Sage Software and Index Technology, is taking a novel approach to the argument between software engineering vendors over whether an integrated or a component approach to the software life cycle is most appropriate – it is advocating both. Index was strong in the upper CASE market with its […]
Intersolv Inc, formed from the merger of Sage Software and Index Technology, is taking a novel approach to the argument between software engineering vendors over whether an integrated or a component approach to the software life cycle is most appropriate – it is advocating both. Index was strong in the upper CASE market with its Excelerator analysis and design workbenches, while Sage’s Application Production System is well-known as a lower CASE application generator. The two companies had followed a similar strategy in adopting an open architecture – that is publishing the interfaces to their products and, therefore, in hindsight appear a good fit. Geoffrey Finlay, managing director of Intersolv’s UK operations, and formerly director of European operations for Sage proved evasive as to more pressing reasons for the merger other than that the two companies are a good logical fit. Sage is financially the stronger company, Index was at some stage along the path to developing a rival product to Sages Application Production System to be called Excelerator/Build, when it was decided that there was no need to reinvent Sage’s wheel. The fact that Index was already an IBM AD/Cycle partner was immaterial, says Finlay because nobody knew until after the merger whether the new company would retain that status. Now that the two have come together, however, Excelerator and Application Production System are being more closely integrated and will be sold as an integrated product to new prospects. But Intersolv is also taking the component approach and retaining the openness of its two products’ architectures to retain its appeal at those sites that have just one or the other product and are using these tools in conjunction with other products. The Application Production System will continue to support IEF, IEW, Arthur Anderson and Learmonth & Burchett Management System upper CASE products. Similarly Excelerator will continue to hook into lower CASE products such as Telon and Pacbase, as well as langauges such as PowerHouse. With the proviso that to have an open architecture in the CASE world stretches the imagination unless a vendor is adopting technology from a standards body or a product such as Software One’s Exchange, nevertheless, Intersolv expects what it calls its open approach to win it market share at the expense of both component and integrated vendors, although it thinks that it will grow the market by adopting a different approach to integrated CASE. At the moment Intersolv has a world-wide user base of 100,000, of which roughly a quarter are believed to be users of both Excelerator and APS. Under the banner Consumer CASE, Finlay suggests that using Intersolv’s products users should get their hands dirty immediately and develop a pilot project – not spend months at the modelling stage before getting down to analysis and design. He thinks that companies like KnowledgeWare Inc and Texas Instruments Inc have ruined the market for CASE by making the integrated approach prohibitively expensive and taking too long to generate applications. The other edge Intersolv has against the IEW and IEF approach is that it is already capable of providing a multi-user, multi-tasking development environment for teams to use across local area networks of MS-DOS or OS/2 personal computers as well as offering the more traditional IBM development environment of MVS. Currently, 60% of sales are for workstations – where Finlay says Intersolv products can run on any sized network Novell Inc can build – 40% for mainframes. Excelerator already runs on Sun Microsystems Inc and Hewlett-Packard Co Apollo workstations and APS capability will be there as well in 1992. Applications developed using Intersolv products can run in MVS, OS/400, DOS/VSE and Tandem Computers Inc target environments. Finlay also reckons that as soon as users require it, Intersolv can provide object-oriented capability, since APS is already designed following object-oriented concepts and Excelerator will soon be able to offer object design facilities as a result of collaboration w
ith the Burlington, Massachusetts object database vendor Ontologic Inc.