Eastman Kodak Co has a new open architecture version of its Ektaprint electronic publishing system, Keeps. The new advanced printing and publishing software – AP/PS 1.0 – enables users to run both publishing and non-publishing applications on a single system, meaning that Keeps customers can select from Kodak or other off-the-shelf packages. With AP/PS, Kodak […]
Eastman Kodak Co has a new open architecture version of its Ektaprint electronic publishing system, Keeps. The new advanced printing and publishing software – AP/PS 1.0 – enables users to run both publishing and non-publishing applications on a single system, meaning that Keeps customers can select from Kodak or other off-the-shelf packages. With AP/PS, Kodak is hoping to tempt aerospace companies, government agencies and engineering and design firms to use Keeps’s long document capabilities – into which they can now integrate their existng software. Kodak re badges the hardware for Keeps from Sun Microsystems. Expanded file management, communications and networked printing capabilities are included in the new system. AP/PS will be available in June – no prices as yet. IBM 3090 Special Offers Disincentive to upgrade 3090-600Es to Ss headline IBM effort to energise 3090 market IBM’s problems getting information out this week meant that the string of special promotions – and reverse incentives – to try to stir up its turgid user base in the US arrived too late for more than a brief overview yesterday, but here, as promised, are the details. It should be stressed that – at least at present these are US only announcements, but UK users need to be aware of them, and they are of importance to everyone who needs to understand what is happening in the 3090 base. It is important to understand that the only easy sell for IBM of a 3090S – which at present adds no functionality over the E models, simply higher performance, except in the case of people wanting asymmetrical configurations of multiprocessors, with more Expanded Storage and channels on one side than the other (and note that main memory still has to be symmetrical) – is to 3090-600E users who must have more power. But IBM’s problems with the chips for the S models means that the company doesn’t want to do field upgrades from Es to Ss – checkout of a system that may or may not work first time is much easier in the factory than in the field – so it is doing all it can to dissuade users from field-upgrad ing from Es to Ss, instead trying to induce them to dump the E and buy a new S. But offering much short er delivery times on new Ss than on upgrades is not proving sufficient, so this week, IBM whacked an additional $665,000 – that’s a 23% increase – on the cost of upgrading a 600E to a 600S, so that it now costs $3.5m. That’s the end of the bad news. Disk trade-in: 3380Ks for old 3380As, 3375s and – remember them? – 3350s IBM’s problems in getting the microcode out so that the 3990-3 controller works as it is intended to are beginning to hurt the company severely. Every large IBM user knows that there are two new families of high-end disk drives scheduled for launch this year – a very fast disk with a 10 platter that should have been announced already, to be followed by very high capacity clustered subsystems of 5,25 disk drives, which together will consign the 3380s to the dustbin of large systems history. Disk storage is almost as important as processors to IBM’s bottom line, but until that damn’ 3990 is fixed and working satisfactorily, IBM can’t bring out new disk drives, and in the meantime, everyone is making do with used drives, cheap alternatives from plug compatible vendors – anything rather than buy new short-life 3380s that are guaranteed to lose perhaps 60% of list as soon as they are plugged in. That means that users shouldn’t have to apply any exertion in twisting their sales representative’s arm to get a good deal on 3380s, but the special offer of 10% off 3380s at new sites announced in February (CI No 1,112) has not done enough to save the situation, and IBM has had to come up with another come-on. If you order before August 29, IBM will offer trade-in discounts on new 3380 AK4s and BK4s to people who surrender 3380 AA4, A04, and B04, 3375 A01, B01, and D01, or even 3350 A02, A2F, B02, B2F, C02, and C2F drives – provided the things were actually being used! The user will be billed at the single-unit purchase price of the new drive less any applicable V
olume Procurement Amendment or other discount and will receive a trade-in credit upon IBM’s receipt of the replaced drive – and those with Category A of the Selected Systems I/O VPA Exhibit for 12, 18, or 24 months duration and minimum order quantities equal to or greater than 110, 165, or 220 respectively, will get an even better deal if they haggle hard enough. The replacement AK4 or BK4 must be ordered on or before August 31, 1989, shipped on or before September 29, 1989, and installed on or before October 20, 1989. The replaced 3380, 3375, or 3350 units must be made available for pick-up by North American Van Lines within three months of the date of installation of the replacement 3380s, costs of the return to the San Jose, California plant and all destination charges, exclusive of rigging charges, will be met by IBM, but the user must make the arrangements – and is responsible for removing any confidential data from the drives! Saving the best till last, IBM finally comes to the trade in price it is offering – the maximum trade-in credit against the purchase price of a 3380 AK4/BK4 unit is $18,000 in any combination, with each 3380 exchanged attracting $6,000, each 3375 $2,000 and each 3350, $1,500 – but they do have to be in working order immediately before disconnection! Special offer on all 3090 memory One thing IBM can shell out like peas is 1M-bit memory chips, and the company is so high on the learning curve now that the things must cost the company only pennies apiece. The company has therefore replaced the February 7 Expanded Storage Installation Offering (CI No 1,111) with a sweeter Memory Special Installation Offering, which applies to all 3090 and 9190 memory (both central and Expanded Storage) identified by a feature code that is installed on or after April 4, 1989, shipped by September 30, 1989, and installed by October 23, 1989, on both new machines and on memory upgrades. Customers who installed Expanded Storage features between February 7 and April 4 under the old deal can take advantage of the new offer instead – but the new offer may not be combined with any special-bid discount or Educational Allowance. The price list is not very helpful because there is no indication of the discount that the prices represent. IBM stresses that this one applies to machines and features installed in the US and Puerto Rico only. Trade-in for new 3745s on 3725s, non-IBM communications controllers Amdahl Corp and NCR-Comten have been making life decidedly uncomfortable in the communications processor market, so much so that in the other special trade in offer, it is prepared to take back those old Fujitsu-built 4608s and Comten boxes as well as its own 3725s to users who buy a new 3745; up to two old processors can be traded in for each 3745. The trade-in credit can be up to $35,000 per returned 3725/3726 according to the 3725 configuration, or up to $20,000 per returned non-IBM Communication Controller, depending on configuration. The trade-in credit is in addition to other volume discounts currently in effect for the designated replacement IBM controller. In addition, for non-IBM trade-ins only, if customers acquire Advanced Communication Function/Network Control Program 5 on the replacement 3745, IBM will waive the ACF/NCP monthly licence charge for the four months following the termination of the regular two-month testing period. The 3745 must be ordered on or before October 13, and be installed on or before December 29, 1989. IBM DPPX/370 At last! IBM moves DPPX/370 into the MVS mainstream as it acquires a subset of CICS IBM doesn’t want anyone to be able to go around complaining that it left 8100 users in the lurch when it discontinued the benighted machine, and as an earnest of its commitment, this week came out with a major new release of DPPX/370, or Distributed Processing Programming Executive/370 to give it its full name. And don’t forget that the Deutsche Bundespost ordered thousands and thousands and thousands of 8100s shortly before they were withdrawn, and has presumably transferred its allegiance to DP
PX/370 on the 9370. Release 2 of the operating system – which is supported only on the 9370 family, although one can imagine that users might want to put it up under VM on a 4381 or 3090 for development – is claimed to provide major new functions for developing application programs, supporting office automation, and enhancing communications support, serviceability, and network management. DPPX/370 and MVS co-operation is strengthened through MVS/Systems Application Architecture systems links and affinity with MVS application elements, IBM says. There is a new Cobol II compiler, a DPPX/370 CICS command-level interface, Personal Services/DPPX and DisplayWrite/DPPX (you never expected that one, did you?). The The DPPX/370 CICS command-level interface is an integrated DPPX/370 2 component compatible with CICS/MVS, so that application programmers can code MVS and CICS/MVS applications for DPPX/370 and centralised host applications using a common CICS interface, greatly reducing the need for unique DPPX/370 knowledge and skills – now why didn’t IBM do that years ago? Cobol II 1.2 applications that use DPPX/370 CICS Command-level Interface are also upwardly compatible to CICS/MVS and the source code will be the same for both system implementations, although for execution in the DPPX/370 environment, the program must be put through the DPPX/370 CICS Command Language Translator which is contained in DPPX/370 Cobol II Facility Release 2 – see below. The DPPX/370 CICS Command-level interface provides a rich subset of CICS/MVS command-level functions which is functionally equivalent to CICS/MVS says IBM. The functions include full CICS support for task, program and storage control, abnormal termination recovery, and sync point management. There is a subset of the functions for Basic Mapping Support, file control, interval control, transient data control, temporary storage control, handle conditions, exception conditions, and access system information, and there is map generation capability and BMS compatibility through DPPX/370 Interactive Map Definition data structures. The DPPX/370 CICS Command-level Interface uses the Host Command Facility to manage DPPX/370 CICS command-level interface operations from the host, without data processing skills being needed at the remote site. It uses DPPX/370’s programmed operator facility for automating CICS related procedures, provides DTMS recovery for managing user and system databases; uses DPPX/370 application and debugging tools, and provides double byte character set support that is equivalent to DPPX/370 Cobol II and DPPX/370 IMD support. Good news on pricing DPPX/370 2.0 is planned to be available in March 1990, and is available on the old one-time or graduated monthly licence regime rather than the new upfront-plus-yearly refresher regime. And, a bit of good news on pricing, new 9370 Model 25, which IBM does seem to be saying offers up to 2.5 times the performance of the Model 20, falls into the lowest Model Group, 10, for software pricing purposes. So on a 9370 25, the new release is a one-time $29,410 or $1,430 a month, rising to $68,640 or $3,265 a month on a 9377 Model 90. (IBM seems to have quietly dropped the 9373, 9375 and 9377 designations and to be calling everything simply an ES/9370, but we’re traditionalists and shiver when reminded of Winston Smith’s job in 1984). DPPX/370 Cobol II enhanced for CICS The DPPX/370 Cobol II Facility Release 2 has been enhanced to provide the DPPX/370 CICS Command Language Translator, and, as already noted, offers application development support more closely related to that provided on the MVS host. The DPPX/370 CICS Command Language Translator mentioned above is part of DPPX/370 Cobol II Facility Release 2. It preprocesses the CICS statements in a Cobol II source program and converts them into Cobol statements that are input to the Cobol II compiler. It also provides diagnostic information for syntax errors. It operates under either DPPX/370 or MVS. In the DPPX/370 environment, it consists of the DPPX/370 Cobol II Compiler, the Cobol Preproc
essor and CICS Command Language Translator. In the MVS environment, it consists of the DPPX/370 Preprocessor (MVS) and the DPPX/370 CICS Command Language Translator (MVS), which operate in conjunction with the VS Cobol II 2. And, partially answering our comment about DPPX/370 development on a large mainframe, IBM suggests that for a variety of reasons, the DPPX/370 Cobol II user may choose to develop Cobol II applications with DPPX/370 CICS Command Level interfaces on either a DPPX/370 development system or on a host MVS system well that’s another way of offering the option. The advantage of doing it on a DPPX/370 system is the capability to use the same machine for development and testing; but development on a host MVS system means that source library maintenance can be centralised, and presumably, unlike the unhappy set-up with the 8100, you don’t have to have a DPPX/370 9370 at the central site. It is planned to be out in March 1990, and costs $9,765 or $435 a month on the 9370-25, to $16,380 or $304 a month on a 3090-600S. And IBM makes promises for the future Finally, a Statement of Direction: DPPX/370 on ES/9370 is intended for new opportunities requiring MVS managed, unattended, and distributed transaction processing networks, and as an excellent growth path for IBM 8100 DPPX customers. Beyond DPPX/370 Release 2, IBM intends to provide support of higher capacity and entry-level hardware technology as well as increased connectivity. Data Base and Transaction Management System and the Host Transaction Facility, the original 8100 DPPX Application Programming Interfaces, will continue to be supported at their current level on DPPX/370 and new Application Programming Interfaces will be enhanced to support the aim of increased affinity and strengthened co-operation with MVS application elements.