News Briefs and Product Shorts
IBM Buys PureEdge Solutions for Electronic Forms Software
IBM bolstered its Lotus Workplace electronic forms strategy last week with the acquisition of PureEdge Solutions, a privately held software developer based in Victoria, British Columbia. PureEdge has developed a Java- and XML-based suite of software called PureEdge 8X that enables companies to migrate from paper-based processes to electronic forms. The components include the PureEdge 8x Designer, a WYSIWYG environment for creating electronic forms and mapping them to back-end ERP systems; the PureEdge 8X Viewer, which is used to open, fill-in, submit, and route electronic forms, in either a thick-client or Web-based environment; and the PureEdge 8X Server and WebForm Server, which run on Windows, Linux, Solaris, and AIX operating systems. IBM, which plans to integrate the PureEdge software into its Lotus Workplace, WebSphere, and Content Manager offerings, says PureEdge's adherence to open standards--in particular the XForms specification, which was ratified as a W3C Recommendation in 2003--gives it an advantage. "We believe this integration with IBM's Workplace family of collaborative products will not only accelerate our ability to deliver business value to customers but will also ensure that open standards are widely adopted and developed in this critical market," says PureEdge chief executive Mark Upson. Details of the acquisition, including purchase price, were not disclosed.
iBolt Plays Role in zSeries to iSeries Migration
OAG, a company known for its airline schedules database, maintains flight details for 1,000 airlines and more than 3,500 airports. It collects raw data from its suppliers, which is then validated and crosschecked before being distributed in standard or customized formats to both businesses and consumers. To ensure future operation efficiency and guarantee resilience, OAG planned to migrate applications from its mainframe to iSeries and to re-build and simplify the business flows. To make this happen, the company chose Magic Software's iBOLT Integration Suite. The key to making this decision, Magic says, was the fact that iBOLT offers capabilities that incorporate service oriented architectures, Web services, plus business process management features. iBOLT operates natively on the iSeries (it runs natively on other servers, too), which provided OAG with enhanced performance (compared to non-native alternatives) when accessing legacy applications and databases. In addition, to ensure that the systems remain operational and operating at their peak performance, iBOLT's business activity monitoring integrates into OAG's Tivoli system management software, providing real time information on activity levels.
Nano-Technology Comes to Tape Cartridges
Companies utilizing the IBM 3592 Total Storage Enterprise Tape Drive System can dial up the performance and capacity with the availability of the Fujifilm 3592 WORM (write-once, read-many) Tape Cartridge, which Fujifilm is touting for its use of NANOCUBIC coating technology. The company says it is the first to deliver data storage media based on nano-technology. NANOCUBIC technology is used to create an ultra-thin coating of nano-scale particles that, Fujifilm says, produce higher resolution for recording digital data with low noise and high signal-to-noise ratios, which are ideal for magneto-resistive heads. Fujifilm claims its enterprise media will reach capacities of 300GB to 900GB (compressed) with native transfer rates of up to 110MB per second (compressed), and an archival life of 30 years. It includes embedded security features such as memory-modules and a "tamper-evident" cartridge designed to prevent undetected physical access, alteration, or deletion of data. It is also available in a 60GB "Fast-Access" format for applications requiring fast retrieval response times for individual data sets. NANOCUBIC media, according to Fujifilm, combines a new binder for more stable chemical performance and a super-fine magnetic particle for more stable physical performance. Both are said to enhance archival and reliability performance. The cartridges are expected to be popular as a backup for archival libraries, disaster recovery solutions, and regulatory compliance systems for data-intensive and archiving-sensitive industries.
UC4 Software Adds J2EE Application Support to Job Scheduler
UC4 Software, the developer of job scheduling software for OS/400 and other environments, recently launched a new piece of software for monitoring and controlling enterprise Java applications. The new code, called the UC4.Executor agent for JMX, enables organizations to manage J2EE processes in the same way that it manages processes running on other platforms, without writing or modifying third-party code, which the company says was previously the only way to do it. "As Java is quickly becoming a widely used development and application platform, we recognize the importance of J2EE applications in our customers' environments," says Mark Loehr, chief operating officer of UC4 Software. UC4 supports all major platforms with its UC4:global cross-platform job scheduler through a number of agents, as well as popular database and ERP applications.
Infinium Customer Opts for Excel Environment
Spencer Kupferman, vice president of corporate affairs and spokesman for Global Software, thinks he has a pretty good handle on the Infinium customer base. Infinium Software, which was purchased by SSA Global near the end of 2002, provides Web-integrated enterprise business applications optimized for the iSeries. Its financial and human resources/payroll applications are well known in the process manufacturing as well as the gaming, hospitality and healthcare industries. Kupferman says Infinium users prefer working within the Microsoft Excel environment, and Global Software makes that easy. As an example Lee Enterprises, one of the country's largest newspaper publishers, has recently purchased Global Software's Spreadsheet Server for Infinium Application. Darin Council, manager of financial reporting at Lee Enterprises, said in a prepared statement that his company would use Spreadsheet Server as an ad hoc analysis tool. Council's testimonial says the software is easy to install and use. It has "saved us countless hours of manually looking up data in Infinium," he says. Global Software specializes in spreadsheet financial and business performance management analytics tools and considers Spreadsheet Server one of its flagship products. Spreadsheet Server is compatible with widely used ERP packages such as BPCS, Infinium, MOVEX, SAP and Oracle's J.D. Edwards products. It runs on iSeries/AS/400, Oracle, SQL Server, and Microsoft's Access database.
Barcoding Unveils RFID Compliance Kits
Barcoding last week unveiled three new RFID compliance kits designed to help companies get a jumpstart on the long road to complying with the RFID mandates of Wal-Mart and the Department of Defense. Companies looking to dip their toes into the RFID waters without fully committing to a million-dollar implementation may want to do a little experimenting with the RFID Evaluation/Lab Kit, which includes an RFID printer/encoder, a portable RFID reader, a fixed mount RFID reader, RFID tags, and RFID encoding software. Companies already facing mandates may choose the Slap & Ship RFID Kit, a bare-bones collection of hardware and software designed to help companies meet minimum requirements, without spending a lot of extra money on features that probably won't be used. Finally, there is the RFID Readiness Kits, which is designed for companies that anticipate the future use of RFID without losing any of their current barcode investments. Barcoding, which is based in Baltimore and was named this April to ICIC magazine's list of the top 100 inner city companies to work for, charges between $3,000 and $15,000 for the kits.
The first brief, "IBM Buys PureEdge Solutions for Electronic Forms Software," has been corrected since it was first published. The XForms specification was ratified by the W3C in 2003. IT Jungle regrets the error. [Correction made 7/27/05.]