News Briefs and Product Shorts
Zephyr Ditches Windows Requirement with Web-based 5250 Emulator
Zephyr last week announced that companies will no longer need to use a Windows server with the latest release of its emulation software for OS/400, mainframe, and Unix servers, called PASSPORT WEB TO HOST 2004. Zephyr chief executive Gregg Ledford says it was time to give users more flexibility in deploying the product, especially in light of the security and stability issues some customers have with Windows platforms. With the 2004 release, the administration component of the Web-based emulator--which handles stuff like the session configuration information, keyboard mapping, and customized attributes, such as color and styles--can be deployed from any Java-based Web application server, such as WebSphere, WebLogic, or Tomcat, which is supported on iSeries, mainframe, Unix, Linux, as well as Windows server. The 5250, 3270, and VT100/200 emulators themselves are ActiveX components that can be download from any standard HTTP server to the user's PC-based client, running, most likely, the Internet Explorer browser. This will likely be the last WEB TO HOST release to support the Netscape browser, Ledford says.
Ohio Company Finds WebReport/400 a Cure for Too Many Faxes
ContainerPort, a Rocky River, Ohio, logistics company, has successfully deployed Kisco Information Systems' WebReport/400 to cut down on tedious manual paper processes, the Saranac Lake, New York, software company announced last week. Before the WebReport/400 implementation, ContainerPort employees would fax about 1,000 activity reports to customers every, an activity that consumed a large amount of human resources. But getting these reports, which are generated from the ContainerPort's OS/400 tracking application, into customer's hands is very important, because they detail the inventory that ContainerPort is helping to move, and the movement of customers' containers. The solution: WebReport/400 Version 6.0, which gave employees the capability to send customers their reports by fax or e-mail, from within their core OS/400 application. Mike Balog, a ContainerPort IT staffer, says it took about a week to install and properly configure the software. Additionally, Balog says, Kisco was very good about responding to one issue that arose during the installation, regarding a problem that would occur when employees entered in invalid e-mail address. Kisco wrote a PTF that fixed it, Balog says, "and we were ready to go into production soon thereafter."
Home Depot Ramps Up UCCnet Initiative, Names 'Preferred' Software Providers
The Home Depot last week identified five software companies as Preferred Data Synchronization Partners for its UCCnet product data synchronization initiative. The hard-line retail giant is following in the footsteps of companies like Wal-Mart in requiring its suppliers to adopt UCCnet data synchronization standards to cut losses related to using bad product data. The company, which has 5,000 suppliers, is asking its suppliers to hook into UCCnet by the third or fourth quarter of 2005, according to an Information Week story. The five software providers that are Preferred Data Synchronization Partners for Home Depot include bTrade, the Electronic Commerce Council of Canada, LANSA, Sterling Commerce, and Transora. Of these companies, bTrade, LANSA, and Sterling Commerce offer native OS/400 data synchronization software.
Versata to Support iSeries Linux with Java IDE
We have an update on the iSeries support that Versata is planning to bring to its Versata Logic Suite Java development environment. The company's president and chief executive, Alan Baratz, says the company has a customer in Germany that has already used the Versata Logic Suite to develop an iSeries ERP application for rental car operations. While that customer is already in production, Versata will hold off making any official announcement of iSeries support until the CeBIT technology conference in Germany later this week. Baratz also says the company will support iSeries Linux with the Versata Logic Suite, and that it currently has no plans to support OS/400 itself.
Yrrid to Support Microsoft .NET with New Release of Integration Software
New legacy integration software for OS/400 servers and other systems is on its way from Yrrid. The Chapel Hill, North Carolina, software company will be presenting its Legacy Objects Framework Enterprise Version 3.1 release at the 16th Annual Systems & Software Technology Conference being held April 20 and 21 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. New features expected in Version 3.1 will include support for Microsoft's .NET Web services framework, in addition to the previously supplied J2EE-based Web services integration capability. Other new features will include new public key encryption algorithms and more streamlined and intuitive LOFModeler APIs, the company says.
Telecom Namibia Licenses ICMS Billing System Again
Telecom Namibia, the largest telecommunication provider in the African country of Namibia, may need to purchase a new iSeries. Last week Englewood, Colorado, based CSG Systems, which now owns and sells the OS/400-based ICMS billing and customer care system, announced that the telecommunications company will upgrade to the latest release of ICMS, while simultaneously integrating the software with a new CRM system. After the upgrade is complete, Telecom Namibia will use all of the modules of the latest release of the ICMS platform to support its phone, video, and Internet services. CSG Systems' local African partners will also implement and integrate Lagan Frontline, a Java-based CRM system developed by the Irish company Lagan Technologies that runs on Windows and Unix.