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Midrange Stuff - Hardware, Software & Services
OS/400 Edition
Volume 2, Number 15 -- April 16, 2002

News Briefs and Product Shorts

  • A San Francisco Bay Area water district has announced plans to use several modules of Gauss Interprise's latest Web-based enterprise content management system, VIP Enterprise, to create a secure intranet for capturing, managing, and distributing a variety of forms, images, and other information source residing in a range of applications. The Alameda County Water District already uses Gauss's Document Management system to manage human resource policies, notices, forms, and a newsletter, which are printed and delivered manually. When the ContentManager and PortalManager components of the VIP Enterprise suite are installed on the district's iSeries, its employees will have a range of additional capabilities. For example, the ContentManager will allow technical engineers to access hazardous material reports and IBM Lotus Notes calendaring and scheduling features through the intranet. Additionally, PortalManager will give the finance department greater access to forms stored in the district's J.D. Edwards payroll application. The installation is being performed by NextBrick, a firm based in Campbell, California.
  • LANSA last week announced the successful implementation of an iSeries-based B2B Web site for Hilton Corporate Casuals, a global clothing manufacturer and distributor. LANSA built what Hilton CC calls its Multi-Site Systems, which is a template Web site that can be used to rapidly build new, customized Web sites for the distributors that buy clothing from Hilton CC. Web sites built with the Multi-Site Systems are automatically integrated with Hilton CC's OS/400-based ERP system and allow distributors to order products, receive online confirmation, track order status, and check on shipments by using a link to the FedEx or UPS tracking system. According to LANSA, Hilton CC has achieved a significant return on investment as a result of the Multi-Site Systems, including a $10 million increase in revenues, reduced operating costs, and improved customer service. Hilton CC's distributors also are able to reduce their operating costs, which in turn lowers the price of goods for consumers. To date, several customers, such as electronics retailer Best Buy, have benefited from the functionality offered with Hilton CC's new system.
  • NetManage last week announced the immediate availability of RUMBA 7.1, the latest release of the company's host access software for iSeries, zSeries, and Unix servers. Chief among the new enhancements is Microsoft certification for running the NetManage connectivity software on Windows XP and Windows 2000 PCs. Other enhancements shipped with RUMBA 7.1 include new tools for running scripts developed for other NetManage host access products, such as Host/Unix Link and ViewNow scripts, on RUMBA; migration wizards for upgrading other NetManage host access products to RUMBA; an install shield wizard for customizing RUMBA installations for groups of users; improved file transfer capabilities; and security enhancements.
  • Later this week, IBM will begin shipping the latest release of its XML Toolkit for iSeries. The toolkit includes the latest mods of a range of XML parsers, which are interfaces designed to allow traditional iSeries applications that were written with RPG, COBOL, C, and C++ to use, modify, and accept XML documents in the conduction of B2B commerce over the Internet. The XML parsers are based on cross-platform, Apache open-source code and are compliant with World Wide Web Consortium's XML industry standards, IBM says. The XML Toolkit for iSeries costs $250, requires OS/400 V5R1, and will be available April 19. (See IBM's announcement letter for more information.)
  • Security is a growing market. Just ask PentaSafe Security Technologies, the Houston, Texas, provider of software security solutions for OS/400, Windows, Unix, and other platforms and applications. Last week the company announced its year-end financial results for fiscal year 2002. Revenue was up 60 percent, the privately held company said. More than 39 new customers were added during its fourth quarter, the company said, bringing its total client base to more than 1,250 companies worldwide.
  • Two former employees of PowerTech Group have formed their own iSeries security consulting practice. Last week, Carol Woodbury and John Vanderwall announced their immediate departure from PowerTech to found SkyView Partners, a Seattle, Washington, company that seeks to work with IBM business partners and AS/400 and iSeries users to create OS/400 security policies and practices. Woodbury, a former IBM engineer, who worked as the AS/400's security architect in the Rochester, Minnesota, labs for 10 years before joining PowerTech, in September 1999, will provide the technological expertise at the fledgling firm and steer it as president and CEO. Vanderwall, who has years of experience in sales, marketing, and business development with a variety of midrange ISVs, including WRQ, will supply SkyView the business know-how as its COO. For more information about SkyView Partners, visit
  • Linux might be open-source, but that doesn't necessarily mean that hackers are tempted to break it. Or at least that's the conclusion one would logically draw from the results of a new survey by Evans Data. Seventy eight percent of the 400 Linux developers surveyed had never experienced an unwanted intrusion on their Linux systems, and 94 percent have operated virus-free. When asked to compare Linux to an established operating system of equivalent security, most Linux developers chose Sun Solaris and IBM AIX operating systems, "two very secure operating systems long trusted by large enterprises, and above any of the Windows platforms by a significant margin," Evans Data added. The survey also found that 84 percent of the developers surveyed believe Linux is inherently more secure than software not created in an open source software environment. Of course, all of this begs several disturbing questions: Are nearly one-quarter of Linux systems getting hacked on a regular basis? Is one in 20 Linux systems commonly infected by viruses? And, most importantly, does the addition of Linux partitions with OS/400 make the iSeries more or less secure? Linux may not be ready for the enterprise, but Linux statistics continue to provide fun for the entire family.
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