The Partners Early Experience Kit and the reference release of the Taligent Application Environment are using a piece of code Taligent Inc has licensed from Salzburg, Austria company TakeFive Software GmbH under a wide-ranging agreement. Taligent is using TakeFive’s Sniff+ C and C++ software development environment – the fruits of a Union Bank of Switzerland […]
The Partners Early Experience Kit and the reference release of the Taligent Application Environment are using a piece of code Taligent Inc has licensed from Salzburg, Austria company TakeFive Software GmbH under a wide-ranging agreement. Taligent is using TakeFive’s Sniff+ C and C++ software development environment – the fruits of a Union Bank of Switzerland object research and development project – to enable Taligent engineers, independent software vendors and corporate developers to mix and match different Unix systems, compilers, debuggers and editing tools in their efforts. It’s one of a number of third party tools Taligent will offer to developers – its own tools are still under development. Taligent engineers are also using Sniff+ internally to develop the Taligent Application Environment and TakeFive is developing an optimised version for that purpose. Taligent will provide a customised version to its application developers, and has contracted TakeFive to extend Sniff+ to meet other customer requirements. The Taligent system, effectively a collection of class libraries now up to some 1m lines of code, is not yet robust enough to be able to support the range of compilers and development systems its programme envisions, and the company has gone to TakeFive and others for help. The two have been working on the deal for the past six months. Although TakeFive downplays the significance of the deal – it says its technology is only a small component of the Taligent system as a whole – Taligent is paying the company enough, something less than $1m, to enable it to open for business in Cupertino, California where it has five staff under former Sun Nicrosystems Inc software marketing manager Ron Lang. TakeFive believes Sniff+ will ship to some 300 Taligent developers. Sniff+, a lightweight development environment, says TakeFive, can cope with the entire Taligent library set and provides a documentation browser too. Sniff+, part of the Partners Kit, is also offered at $3,000 up for a single floating licence. Sniff+ started life in the bank’s Ubilab research and development unit a couple of years ago as part of an object technology project. Rights to turn it into a product were acquired by the five founders of TakeFive. TakeFive says the stuff it’s developed as Sniff+ enhancements for Taligent will begin to appear in future Sniff+ releases from the end of the year, when a major new revision is planned. TakeFive doesn’t know how long the Taligent deal will go on, specifically whether Taligent will carry on using Sniff+ once its got its own tools ready. TakeFive wants to extend Sniff+’s use as a C-to-C++ object migration tool and has already integrated it with Pure Software Inc’s Purify C and C++ code tester; it has an Object Design Inc technology development project in hand. TakeFive plans to adopt third party technology for inclusion in its next generation products. It wants to extend Sniff+ so that for example a 10-user team of developers on a local network could all be using different compilers and tools. It will be putting Sniff+ Applications Programming Interfaces and protocols into the public domain in an effort to win greater support, will add more browsers and will move to a Corba-compliant architecture over time. TakeFive says Hewlett-Packard Co’s integrated SoftBench environment is its main competition. Ironically, TakeFive observes, Taligent couldn’t use its shareholder’s technology in favour of Sniff+ because SoftBench breaks down in large environments. TakeFive is up to 15 employees in Salzburg, five in Cupertino and a few out at Ubilab, claims over 2,000 Sniff+ users, mostly in Europe, and is looking for distributors and looks to sign Admiral Group Plc in the UK.