Advancing in the US and Asia coupled with the fine-tuning of object technology are the strategic priorities for Versailles-based O2 Technology SA, the company told its users at its recent annual user meeting in Paris. Chief executive Francois Bancilhon, who recently moved to California to lead the US offensive, said the US will be O2’s […]
Advancing in the US and Asia coupled with the fine-tuning of object technology are the strategic priorities for Versailles-based O2 Technology SA, the company told its users at its recent annual user meeting in Paris. Chief executive Francois Bancilhon, who recently moved to California to lead the US offensive, said the US will be O2’s major investment in 1996 and that it hopes to be a key actor there in the next two years. The time is ripe, he said, because the market is evolving from a need for object languages to a need for object databases, and management applications in banking and insurance are opening up to object databases. Bancilhon told Computergram that, while the US is an exciting market, France is better for research and development. Over here, an engineer will stay with you for four or five years. Over there, you’re lucky if they stay for four or five months. There is a lot more stability here for an research and development organisation, he said. He added that salaries in the Bay Area are equivalent to those in Paris; the salaries themselves are higher, but equal to Paris salaries plus the social charges. In Europe, where Bancilhon says O2 has become the leader, since we installed a subsidiary in the UK, we’ve had successes at Ford and at BT, where we had the pleasure of displacing a competitor on several projects. In Asia, Korea and Japan will remain the two principle markets, said Laurent Hyafil, sales director, because China is a bizarre market. You go to Peking and they say, ‘IBM and Oracle have given us X million copies of this software and these workstations.
What are you giving us?’ We’re not giving software away! he quipped. Bancilhon said the company has had balanced accounts since 1993 and will see its third consecutive year this year of 50% revenue growth, to some $6m. Didier Plateau, director of production and services, presented the new functions of version 4.6, which becomes available this month. They are O2 Version, which enables users to define and manage versions and configurations of any object in an O2 database, O2 Report and O2 Web, which provides Web connections for O2 databases. Plateau said January 1996 will see O2 versions for Windows NT 3.5, Santa Cruz and Digital Unix, among other systems. Versions for AIX and Solaris will be released this month. O2 spends about $2m per year on research and development. Patrick Borras, associate technical director, gave users a glimpse of the developments under way. We’re not giving any dates for these, mind you, but just to inform you of their existence, he said. They include a restructuring of O2 System for greater modularity, and a shared library, a makefile generation extended to all types of O2 applications, and more flexible system configuration; object-level locking for O2 Engine; client-server communication with shared memory, and; multithread server. On languages, O2 is alpha-testing a version of its Smalltalk environment that includes Smalltalk ODMG, and is working to reconcile OQL and SQL and the mapping between relational and object databases.