Logica Plc’s involvement in software systems kernels contributes only about 3% of its overall turnover, but it is a growth area set to increase dramatically and one which the company claims is giving it competitive edge. The company has begun releasing a series of four X400 kernel software products, called CPLEX.400, the first is the […]
Logica Plc’s involvement in software systems kernels contributes only about 3% of its overall turnover, but it is a growth area set to increase dramatically and one which the company claims is giving it competitive edge. The company has begun releasing a series of four X400 kernel software products, called CPLEX.400, the first is the X409 presentation syntax kernel, which will cost somewhere near to UKP40,000. Its most immediate attractive feature is that it claims to offer developers of Open Systems Interconnection, OSI, software insurance against any changes to OSI protocol definitions. That is partly because Logica sits on the CCITT X400 committees and claims to have implemented a large body of the new amendments to the 1984 published recommendations, which are due to be issued in 1988, into the CPLEX range. Another reason is that CPLEX was developed under the Unix operating system and written in C and is designed to be portable. Logica intends to offer the kernels for a range of hardware environments including personal computer-based versions. Product manager Vincent Kelly also stresses that the X409 compiler takes the definition of the protocol as written in a standard text and produces data structures that the program uses. To produce the data structures that the program uses, it is not necessary to write a special code, you just alter the input to the compiler. The presentation syntax kernel also includes a coder and decoder, which work off the data structures without having to change the software. Logica has just issued its latest Telematica report, which forcasts that the number of electronic messaging connections in Europe will increase to 3m in 1993 from 1m in 1987. It also reports that unit shipments of dedicated telex and teletex terminals will decrease by over 50% over the same period, with X400-compatible electronic mail and facsimile absorbing that market. We made the decision two years ago not to buy in an existing X400 product because we wanted to move with existing standards and make our product as flexible as possible, says business manager John Keith. The company has had a team of between 20 and 25 developing the CPLEX software, which he reckons is the largest X400 development project being carried out by a systems house in Europe. Three big computer companies are now carrying out technical reviews of the products, which have led to commercial negotiations. The other three kernels will be released as follows: the message transfer agent will come out in October; the reliable transfer server in December; and the X400 user agent in March 1988. Logica has set up a support centre at its Newman Street, London offices, within a dedicated division of Logica Communications and Electronic Systems Ltd.