With a variety of Open Software Foundation Distributed Computing Environment implementations now coming on stream, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Transarc Corp believes it won’t take long for its Encina transaction processing system to overtake market rivals, such as Unix System Laboratories Inc’s Tuxedo, or NCR Corp’s Top End: because we have bigger partners, says chief executive Alfred […]
With a variety of Open Software Foundation Distributed Computing Environment implementations now coming on stream, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Transarc Corp believes it won’t take long for its Encina transaction processing system to overtake market rivals, such as Unix System Laboratories Inc’s Tuxedo, or NCR Corp’s Top End: because we have bigger partners, says chief executive Alfred Spector. Transarc counts Hewlett-Packard Co, IBM Corp, NEC Corp, Stratus Computer Inc and Hitachi Ltd among its supporters, and Spector claims there are four other major vendors that have adopted Encina but don’t want the fact bandied about.
Just 22 sites
Spector points to Gartner Group figures, which forecast that Tuxedo will have a 32% share of the Unix transaction processing monitor market in 1995, CICS/6000 (based on Encina) 18%, Encina 14%, Top End 9%, Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG, 7%, other CICS implementations 7% and others 7%. At present Unisys Corp claims to hold 50% of the market for Unix-based transaction processing monitors, with 22 of its sites actively using Tuxedo – that’s right: 50% of the market with just 22 sites, which means that there is very definitely all to play for, and that even previous total unknowns in the monitor market, such as Micro Focus Plc with its new – and imaginatively-titled – Micro Focus Transaction System, still have time to make a significant impression. NCR Corp’s Top End weighs in with 15%, and Spector can count only one live Encina site, and again that’s one that’s under wraps. Nevertheless, he says around 100 customers are working on Encina-based systems now, including the UK’s British Telecommunications Plc, Japan’s Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp, and Charles Schwab and Citicorp in the US. Encina includes seven transaction processing modules. There is a A toolkit that extends the Distributed Computing Environment to support distributed transaction processing. There’s a transaction processing monitor and the structured file server – a transactional, record-oriented file system that scales large numbers of users and files without sacrificing system performance. There is a recoverable queuing service for the enqueuing and dequeuing of requests – which is in beta test form now, with general release slated for December.
By William Fellows
Peer-to-peer services enable communication between a host transaction processing monitor system such as IBM Corp’s CICS and Encina applications and an Remote Procedure Call Gateway/SNA provides IBM System Network Architecture communications – the facility is already available on IBM and Hewlett-Packard systems, with a Sun Microsystems Inc version to follow. The Encina server core, Encina base services and Distributed Computing Environment base services are also required. Transarc’s Andrew File System, which grew out of technology developed at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie-Mellon University, is installed at around 300 sites, but that will increase rapidly as the Open Software Foundations’s Distributed Computing Environment is more widely implemented. DCE calls for an extended version of the Andrew File System version 3, known as the Distributed File System. The Distributed File System is one component of the data sharing services that the Distributed Computing Environment provides, the other being an Enhanced File Service. Although DCE developer kits have been around for some time, there are no end-user implementations of the Environment – and hence no-end users as such yet – because the Distributed File System is not available yet. The File System provides crucial file-sharing facilities under Unix, and effectively runs as an application on top of basic Distributed Computing Environment services. It enables users to view and use distributed files as a single logical system. Until Distributed File System is in place – IBM is due to release an implementation for its own Distributed Computing Environment implementation this month, Transarc’s version for Sun will be out by year-end – then DCE remains the province of developers and application builders
that do not require commercial, file sharing facilities. The Enhanced File Service includes Episode, a log-based file system which manages file storage on disk; DFS Backup System, a central on-line back-up system for data stored in Distributed File System; and Scout, a graphical file monitoring tool. Transarc is now offering binary versions of its Distributed Computing Environment and Encina software for SunSoft Inc’s Solaris 1.1.
Spector says a version for Solaris 2.2 should be ready next month, with Encina for Solaris 2.2 scheduled to launch in September. He expects Sun to begin marketing DCE on its kit as part of the Common Open Software Environment initiative in due course. Transarc has 190 employees and spends some 50% of its budget on research and development. An Andrew File System implementation for Silicon Graphics Inc boxes is imminent, with a Digital Equipment Corp Alpha AXP version due thereafter. Spector says that Transarc is also working with Microsoft Corp on a long-term Encina-for-Windows NT project. UK system integrator and Open Software Foundation business partner Protek Ltd in Maidenhead, Berkshire, will sell and support Transarc’s Distributed Computing Environment and Encina this side of the water.