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Midrange Stuff - Hardware, Software & Services
OS/400 Edition
Volume 2, Number 10 -- March 12, 2002

News Briefs and Product Shorts

This issue of Midrange Stuff features a number of stories on document management issues facing iSeries shops, so it's fitting that this week's lead News Brief centers on that topic. FormScape last week announced its document output software has been certified by J.D. Edwards to manage output generated by the OneWorld ERP suite. We also have a story about two cities in Indiana that plan to save $500,000 by going in together on an iSeries system for police, fire, and paramedic services.

  • FormScape announced last week that FormScape 2.4 and its FormScape Output Stream Access software have been tested and certified to work with J.D. Edwards' OneWorld enterprise suite. With FormScape, customers can accept documents produced by OneWorld, which uses the Adobe PDF format, and reformat them to ASCII data streams. The software adds greater flexibility, such as printing to PCL and PostScript printers, formatting and delivering the output by e-mail, archiving the document to the Web or on laser disks, or integrating the output with FormScape's subset of XML. FormScape runs on Windows, and the certification covers FormScape's integration with OneWorld running on OS/400, AIX, Solaris, HP-UX, and Windows NT.
  • New World Systems, a Troy, Michigan, provider of enterprise software for law enforcement and government, announced last week that two Indiana cities have signed a contract to purchase the company's OS/400-based suite of public safety applications. East Chicago and Hammond, both located in Northwest Indiana about five miles from each other, near the south shore of Lake Michigan, will buy, install, and use the Aegis Public Safety suite jointly. New World Systems said that by pooling their resources, the two cities were able to shave about $500,000 off the cost of installing separate modern systems. The contract is worth about $3.2 million to New World Systems in software license fees and services, the company said. The 118,500 citizens who live in the two cities will also benefit by the shared installation, which was pushed forward by the mayors and financial officers of the two cities, because police and rescue personnel will be able to respond more quickly to emergencies and the departments will be able to share data more easily. Integration of service will also extend to nearby Gary, Indiana, another Aegis user. The installation will include the Aegis Computer Aided Dispatch and Records Management modules for police, fire, and emergency medical service, a Mobile Computing module, the Regional Data Sharing module, and other modules--all of which will be installed on a new iSeries server.
  • Proginet announced a $225,400 drop in revenues for its second quarter, which ended January 31, a 13 percent decline from a year ago. The Garden City, New York, company, which sells data sharing and password utilities for OS/400 and other platforms, reported revenues of just under $1.5 million for the quarter. The company suffered its biggest setback in revenue for software-license fees, which were down 31 percent, to $593,007. Revenue from software maintenance was up 8 percent, to $865,181, but it was not enough to offset the downturn in new sales, which was largely responsible for the net loss of almost $200,000 for the quarter. The company, which is publicly traded on the OTC Bulletin Board, reported a net gain of $213,087 a year ago.
  • Following a successful pilot program to develop a wireless check-in system, Harrah's Entertainment has chosen Jacada to rejuvenate additional OS/400 applications in its hotels and casinos across the country, the companies announced last week. Jacada's Java technology played a key part in the recently completed Remote Check-In System, which allowed Harrah's Total Rewards customers to bypass the line at the front desk and check in to the hotel using a PDA connected to an OS/400-based server over a wireless network connection. The project went live eight weeks after conception, and helped to drop guest check-in times at the hotel by 60 percent, said Tim Stanley, Harrah's vice president for IT. "Harrah's IT team has been pleased with our initial experience with the Jacada Interface Server, and we are eager to continue exploring ways to leverage and extend our iSeries-based operational systems using Jacada," Stanley stated in the press release. Harrah's plans to use Jacada's suite of rejuvenation tools, renamed the Interface Server last year, to develop Web browser-based front-ends to existing OS/400 green-screen applications.
  • If you have any questions or doubts about whether or how WebSphere runs on IBM servers--and, as you're probably aware, there have been plenty over the last two years--you may want to check out the new WebSphere Innovation Center that VAR juggernaut Avnet Hall-Mark opened in San Antonio, Texas, last week. WICs are sites where customers can get demonstrations and technical briefings for a variety of WebSphere workloads, including WebSphere commerce and translation software, voice recognition software, enterprise application integration, and Web enabling legacy data. Avnet's San Antonio WIC differs from the Avnet Hall-Mark/Rave IBM WIC, recently opened in New York City, because it concentrates solely on iSeries, pSeries, and xSeries implementations of WebSphere, whereas the WIC in lower Manhattan showcases WebSphere running on other hardware platforms as well as IBM's.
  • The latest release of Lilly Software's ERP suite for manufacturers contains new features that companies in the automotive industry should find attractive. VISUAL Manufacturing 6.2.8, announced last week, streamlines EDI order entry and fulfillment and eases the difficulties in managing complex orders, the Hampton, New Hampshire, company said. It also allows distributors to manage operations on a customer-by-customer basis, including the capability to verify order details, maintain price matrixes for parts by customer and date, establish shipping information, and create thermal labels for orders. VISUAL Manufacturing, a C++ application originally developed for Microsoft's Windows, was ported to OS/400 in 1998 and now runs on a variety of operating systems and major relational database systems.
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