It was not quite Comdex, but Philippe Kahn emerged from smoke and sparkles in Tokyo to open an enormous party to celebrate Borland Japan’s first year of operation. The event held on December 3 attracted over 1,000 invited guests – a Who’s Who of the Japanese computer industry – to a venue usually used for […]
It was not quite Comdex, but Philippe Kahn emerged from smoke and sparkles in Tokyo to open an enormous party to celebrate Borland Japan’s first year of operation. The event held on December 3 attracted over 1,000 invited guests – a Who’s Who of the Japanese computer industry – to a venue usually used for wedding parties of film stars. In typical enfant terrible style, chairman and chief executive Philippe Kahn set a hard-to-follow note in a year when corporate entertainment budgets have been cut and everyone is feeling recessionary. One of the key events before the party was the Japanese launch of the Interbase relational database server, and the announcement of plans to develop a Japanese language version of Interbase 3.2. That version is scheduled to ship in the first quarter 1993. Also announced, although in too little detail, were Borland’s plans for marketing Interbase in Japan, an effort driven currently mainly from its Scotts Valley, California headquarters – while staff are being recruited – by people familiar with the Japanese market, including Tom Laux, former country manager for MIPS Computer Japan, and now director of the Interbase Business Unit and in charge of business development in the Pacific Rim. The company plans to focus on an OEM and value-added reseller strategy, rather than selling directly to end users, although Jim Fleming, vice-president of Worldwide Sales for Interbase, said to Computergram that in Japan Borland was already confronted with the problem of approaches from large end-users that wanted to buy direct. However, at the launch, Seiko Epson Co announced that it planned to sell Interbase, most probably on Digital Equipment Corp workstations for which Seiko Epson is a reseller. Borland’s worldwide relationship with Cognos Inc is also being activated in Japan; Cognos Japan demonstrated their Powerhouse development tool interfacing to Interbase. Regarding Japanisation, the work is currently under way in the US office; Interbase 3.2, the current version will be Japanised specifically for Japan to support both Shift JIS and EUC kanji encodings and Japanese language conventions for the sorting, searching and collating of kanji characters.
From Interbase 4.0, which is being designed now, specific provision will be made for internationalisation and easy conversion to all world languages. The Japanese release for next year will be on Sun Microsystems Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co and later IBM Corp and Intel Corp hardware as well as DEC’s Alpha. Borland expects Interbase sales in the market for server software to grow by 400% over the next few years. From a late start, Interbase already has 3.5% of the relational database market in the US and more than 10,000 licences installed worldwide, boasting clients such as the Philadelphia and Boston Stock Exchanges, Chicago Research and Trading Group, the largest options dealer in the US and other financial systems groups that like features of Interbase such as array data types, originally designed into Interbase for engineering needs at Boeing Co, but also useful for commercial calculation-intensive processing. Other features of Interbase that customers find attractive, according to Jim Fleming include Binary Large Objects filter and triggers and event alerters.