Nixdorf Computer AG has been slowly building up its UK presence with the Targon range of Unix systems – the company has some 50 or so systems installed, but emphasises that they tend to be sales of large systems at UKP100,000 or more at a time – and looks set to step up its efforts […]
Nixdorf Computer AG has been slowly building up its UK presence with the Targon range of Unix systems – the company has some 50 or so systems installed, but emphasises that they tend to be sales of large systems at UKP100,000 or more at a time – and looks set to step up its efforts further next year when Nixdorf developed applications start to appear on the machines. So far, the company has majored on third-party packages combined with Targons sold through the direct sales force (unlike the vast majority of companies in the Unix market, Nixdorf sells only direct to the end-user), and the latest addition to the portfolio is the Delta/ADS application generator from Swiss company Delta Software AG; Nixdorf sees potential for the product, which originated in the IBM mainframe environment, with customers who have IBM mainframes and are looking to put in Unix departmental systems. Delta can generate Cobol applications that run with Nixdorf’s DDB4 relational database under Unix, or with DDB4 or even IBM’s DL/I on IBM-compatible mainframes – which Nixdorf of course also has in its product portfolio. Nixdorf’s Targon Office, already announced back home in West Germany, is due for UK launch early next year; the product originated with Quadatron’s Q-Office (Nixdorf has a substantial equity stake in Quadatron) but has since had most of the modules apart from word processing replaced with Nixdorf-devel oped software. Meanwhile, Nixdorf’s huge seven-year project to rewrite its Comet software for small to medium-sized businesses, which currently runs on the company’s 8870 machines, for Unix using DDB4 and the proprietary X/SDE applications generator has so far resulted in the first handful of the 250-odd modules running under Unix. However the full suite, which comprises a central core of general business software and modules aimed at specific vertical markets such as Nixdorf’s traditional manufacturing and retail areas, is a couple of years at least from completion. Nixdorf has already trumpeted its intentions to become a large scale software supplier and as a result products such as DDB4, Targon Office, and conceivably Comet – although any decision for the latter is probably some way away – will be made available for systems made by other manufacturers; DDB4 already runs on NCR, DEC and IBM and compatible mainframe systems.