News Briefs and Product Shorts
Heinz Picks MKS for Global Change Management Roll-Out
Based on its successful use of an OS/400-based change management system from MKS, H.J. Heinz is expanding its use of MKS change control applications, the Ontario, Toronto, software company announced yesterday. For years, Heinz's headquarters in Pittsburgh has been a user of Implementer, MKS change management software for the iSeries, as well as client server change management systems. Heinz is expanding upon that successful set up by adding additional process, workflow, and project dashboard products that are available within MKS Integrity Suite. MKS says the expanded functionality will help Heinz become more efficient by automating IS change processes, improving visibility across locations and lines of business, and enhancing the planning and prioritization process via the Suite's real-time management dashboard. Heinz, whose $9.4 billion in revenues in 2003 earned it the number 213 spot on the Fortune 500 list, expects the new MKS-based processes to start paying off in three to six months. "Making the MKS technology more widely available in our environment will improve global visibility and improve operational efficiencies through tighter integration of lines of business, development and IT operations, and reduce costs on a global scale," says Shirley Weinstein, global IS director for Heinz, who adds the new systems are "expected to improve overall IS governance throughout our international environment."
New Software from nuBridges Helps Retailers with UCCnet Projects
nuBridges, which completed the acquisition of OS/400 software developer TrailBlazer Systems earlier this year, last week unveiled truExchange Item Sync Retail 2.0, a new version of its application for retailers looking to participate in UCCnet product data synchronization initiatives. The Java-based truExchange product, which is based in part on the functionality truBridges obtained with the ZMOD Exchange for UCCnet product from TrailBlazer, is designed to run in a Linux environment or as a hosted application. (nuBridges also sells a version of truExchange Item Sync for suppliers that runs on OS/400, because that's what manufacturers and distributors want, company officials say.) truExchange Item Synch Retail 2.0, brings several enhancements, including a new data validation engine that allows for more flexible validation rules processing; new tools that tell the supplier of errors in their product data before it's accepted into the retailers system; and the capability to aggregate data from several sources, such as data pools, internal definitions, and external sources like suppliers' forms and portals. nuBridges truExchange Item Sync Retail 2.0 supports a range of backend databases, including DB2/400, and is available today in a hosted model, where customers pay per transaction or as a commercial packaged solution, nuBridges says. In other news, nuBridges announced that it has received certification from eBusinessReady group for its truExchange EDI-INT for AS3 version 3.2 product. EDI-INT for AS3, which is available for OS/400, Linux, and Windows, enables users to send EDI documents securely via FTP.
Chilean Travel Site Powered by LANSA and iSeries
Travelers in the United States have grown accustomed to booking their flights and hotels over the Internet. Now, thanks to a new Web site developed using LANSA's OS/400 development tools, South American travelers have the opportunity to discover what a timesaver it is. Launched in June, the new Web site www.chilebookings.com lets visitors select a city and date and then view various hotels and their amenities, prices, special offers, and maps. The traveler may then use a credit card to reserve the booking. The Web site, which was developed using LANSA for the Web, also has something to offer hotel operators. Each hotel controls its portion of the Web site, enabling them to offer different prices according to room size and length of stay. The application also lets hotels estimate occupancy rates and make special offers to fill vacancies during periods of low demand, or raise rates during peak periods. So far, the software and hardware have performed to expectations. "Our experience with iSeries had been positive and we knew that with this platform, we would amply cover the aspects of security and availability," says Juan Alcántara, an engineer with the LANSA and IBM business partner, Ingeniería de Software, that developed the site.
FujiFilm Goes WORM with New SuperDLTtape II Cartridge
Longtime computer tape cartridge manufacturer FujiFilm announced a new line of FujiFilm-branded Super DLTtape II media cartridges last week. The media, which is designed for use with Quantum's SDLT 600 tape drive, and which retails for around $100, offers native capacity of 300GB (or 600GB with 2:1 compression) and supports drive transfer speeds of up to 36MB per second. When used with Quantum's DLTIce functionality, any new, unused Super DLTtape II can be turned into a Write Once Read Many (WORM) cartridge, which many companies are finding necessary to comply with new industry mandates. FujiFilm says its new Super DLTtape II cartridge is based on its proprietary ATOMM (Advanced Super Thin-layer & High Output Metal Media) technology, which incorporates a nonmagnetic lower layer with an ultra-thin upper layer of high-energy metal particles applied simultaneously to a base film. This manufacturing technique results is extremely low self-demagnetization, increased high-frequency output, and significantly higher recording density, according to the company. FujiFilm and Quantum also companies a new initiative to adapt the SDLT 600A cartridge for use in the broadcasting industry, where high-definition television programming is driving a big demand for storage.
U.S. Postal Service Qualifies Varsity Shipping Software
Varsity Logistics, a San Francisco developer of OS/400 shipping software, has successfully completed another round of MAC, or Manifest Analysis and Certification, at the hands of the United States Postal Service. Gaining a MAC certification basically means that Varsity's shipping solution, in this case its USPS Carrier Compliance Kit (CCK), accurately calculates postage for a range of packages at international and domestic rates. "Our clients using USPS depend on Varsity to deliver the highest caliber shipping solutions to ensure a consistent, efficient flow in their shipping process," says Walt Jader, director of operations for Varsity. "With this certification, Varsity's USPS CCK customers can now count on simpler and easier local compliance with the USPS." In addition to the certification for USPS, Varsity's ShipSoft Parcel software is certified for label and manifesting compliance for Airborne, DHL, FedEx, Purolator, and UPS.
RJS Unveils WebDocs Versions for Accountants
RJS Software Systems is making inroads into certified public accountant (CPA) market with a new CPA-specific version of its WebDocs document management system. WebDocs-CPA, as the new solution is called, is completely Web hosted and enables users to scan paper documents or import e-mails, electronic forms, and existing files directly from any server or PC, RJS says. The system also promises to integrate smoothly into existing business applications such as tax and audit engagements products, and billing, accounting, and practice management programs, RJS says. The Minnesota company is partnering with Mize, Houser & Company to host the software for clients, and to store user documents at its data management facility in Kansas. RJS offers both Windows and iSeries versions of its regular WebDocs product.