Applied Data Research flew journalists and major customers from all over Europe into London yesterday to announce and demonstrate five new products. Heading the running order at the launch were new versions of its relational database management system, Datacom/DB, and its Ideal application development tool that support Structured Query Language and IBM’s DB2 database respectively, […]
Applied Data Research flew journalists and major customers from all over Europe into London yesterday to announce and demonstrate five new products. Heading the running order at the launch were new versions of its relational database management system, Datacom/DB, and its Ideal application development tool that support Structured Query Language and IBM’s DB2 database respectively, but the real excitement was provided by a electronic mail system that delivers text and voice from the corporate database to a workstation or telephone, and Mindover MVS, an expert system for MVS performance management and capacity planning. ADR also announced its first computer-aided software engineering tool. The live demo of eMail-Voice featured a user dialling up a computer at ADR’s Princeton, New Jersey headquarters. A voice synthesizer – known as Sven because of its Scandanavian accent – then read out the contents of the required file. The user then sent a voice message to another user via the system. This was stored in a digitised form waiting for the second user to access the message by phone. The synthesized voice is produced by an IBM AT fitted with the CallText System from Speech Plus Inc, a company in which ADR’s parent Ameritech has a minority stake. Each CallText AT is attached to the mainframe running eMail-Voice and provides up to five lines simultaneously. eMail-Voice is $67,000 including one CallText AT and will be delivered later this year. Mindover MVS collects data on resource utilisation and system performance and uses that information to draw conclusions and make recommendations. It also explains the reasoning it has used. ADR says Mindover allows operators and analysts to concentrate on solutions rather than time-consuming data analysis. The company claims the product can offer advice covering 14 subjects – rather better than the maximum of two it says is offered by competitors such as Boole & Babbage. Mindover MVS has four components: a knowledge base; a run-time system that includes the inference engine; a mainframe command set that monitors the 14 domains; and an IRMA-based communications link to the AT-alike on which it runs. The AT requires a minimum of 4Mb hard disk and 580Kb of memory. The product is scheduled for fourth quarter delivery at $42,500. According to ADR, beta test sites in the US have reported that Mindover MVS not only produces major productivity gains but that the ability to explain the reasoning behind its recommendations has proved useful for training junior staff. The software engineering tool, Depictor, provides data modelling and database design facilities. ADR claims it combines the power of the mainframe with the user friendliness of the PC. CSP not a serious player The mainframe component handles large system modelling tasks and updates ADR’s Datadictionary while the PC-DOS part is used for graphic definitions of relations. The latter component is based on technology from Cadware Group Ltd of Connecticut. Depictor will cost $23,000 for DOS/VSE and VM/CMS environments and $28,000 for MVS sites when it is released in the second quarter next year. Workstations – XTs with 640Kb memory and hard disk – cost $3,500 each. ADR’s two other launches both fit in with its strategy of attempting to provide superior, compatible alternatives to IBM. Version 8 of Datacom/DB includes support for both IBM and ANSI standard SQL. ADR believes this dual approach with SQL will mean that in future users can change databases easily. It was developed by ADR with the collaboration of the definer of the relational model Dr Ted Codd and his colleague Chris Date. It will be available in the second quarter next year from $140,000. The final product, version 2 of Ideal, in ADR’s words contains a breadth of function to han-dle any development task. ADR says it is especially well suited for transaction processing tasks and directly supports the embedding of dynamic and static DB2 SQL statements within the Ideal language. Ideal for DB2 will be shipped early next year. Chief operating officer Bill Clifford sees great
opportunities for it in sites that wouldn’t consider buying Datacom/DB instead of IBM’s strategic DB2 product. He claims this is because IBM’s CSP product in this area is not a serious player. He also announced that ADR’s Dataquery/VAX for IBM sites with distributed DEC VAXes will be delivered later this year.