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OS/400 Edition
Volume 3, Number 23 -- June 10, 2003

News Briefs and Product Shorts

  • Ever been asked to present your OS/400 reports in PDF format, but haven't been able to because your document management software only supported PCL? It's frustrating enough to make you shout "criminy" or maybe something worse. inFORM Decisions has launched a new native PCL-to-PDF converter for the OS/400 server, called iSeries PCL to PDF Version 1.0. This new product converts Hewlett-Packard's standard PCL printer output--the primary output supported by most forms packages, including inForm's--into the widely accepted PDF format. "The problem with the PCL format is that it's not as easy to work with," says Davis Yokana, software development manager at the Irvine, California, company. "PCL requires proprietary viewers that must be purchased, thus global users cannot access and work with the files. The results are typically not as consistent, or as intelligent, as PDF." The software can be purchased for $3,000.
  • Michigan Automotive Compressor, a Japanese-owned joint venture that develops air conditioning systems in Toyota Camrys, Jeep Grand Cherokees, Honda Accords, and Hummer H2s, is installing MAPICS's ERP for iSeries to manage its growing manufacturing operation, the Atlanta software company announced last week. Michigan Automotive Compressor, based in Parma, Michigan, has used other MAPICS components, including accounting, purchasing, and inventory management, and will now be installing the core ERP for iSeries system to replace a homegrown system that it has outgrown. The company says it was very satisfied with its previous engagement with MAPICS. For example, its tool crib inventory, which was managed by MAPICS software, reported only a $750 variance on inventory worth $15.5 million, a 99.9 percent accuracy rating. The installation is scheduled to go live in January.

  • ADEonics last week launched TOTAL/400-Documentation Utility 8.3, the latest release of its OS/400 cross reference tool. Enhancements made with this release of TOTAL/400-DU include improved disaster recovery support and new input capabilities for nontraditional CALL relationships, such as job schedulers, dynamic command execution, and third-party menu systems, the company says. TOTAl/400-DU, in use and development for more than 20 years, shows programmers where and how objects are used, and also displays CALL structures and detailed file and field usage, for a range of programs developed in RPG, COBOL, and other languages. For more information or free trial downloads, go to

  • Edge Technologies has signed up application access software manufacturer Tarantella to provide the host access component for Edge Tech's new enView integration application for government agencies. Based on its enPortal Java-based application, enView is designed to provide secure access to applications and database content residing on any platform, from any client device, from anywhere in the world. Edge Tech is using Tarantella Enterprise 3 software with enView to provide the Web access to enterprise mainframe, OS/400, Unix, Windows, Java, and Linux applications. Using the Tarantella Enterprise 3 connection, enView will collect and combine data, workflow concepts, and performance information, consolidate it, then present the data through a customizable dashboard delivered in a Web browser.

  • WRQ is encouraging users to test drive a new interface it developed that connects its host access integration software, Verastream, with the beta version of BizTalk Server 2004, the next release of Microsoft's application integration software. The new interface, due to ship with the next release of Verastream, will allow developers to work entirely within the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET development environment while using Verastream to access host-based business processes. "For example, a BizTalk Server-based e-commerce application will be able to easily access functionality from an ERP system running on an AS/400," according to a WRQ press release. A downloadable preview version of WRQ's Verastream host interface for the beta release of Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004 is available at WRQ welcomes your feedback.

  • This week, at the Retail Systems Conference in Chicago, 360Commerce will put on a multiplatform show. The Austin, Texas, company maintains that its point-of-sale and back-office software runs on the widest array of platforms in the industry. On the backend, FoundationEE, its Enterprise Java-based back-office application, runs on OS/400, Windows, Solaris, Linux, Mac OS, and IBM 4690, an operating system designed specifically for retail environments. On the POS side, 360Commerce's software runs on IBM's SurePOS 750 and 4694 systems, Fujitsu's TeamPOS 2000, Wincor Nixdorf's Beetle and UTC UT 810-i registers, and on the new Symbol Pen Tablet iX104. The company says its breadth of supported platforms gives customers financial benefits by being able to re-use (or "leverage") existing assets and by providing freedom of choice when it comes to making new platform purchases.

  • Symantec will present a Webcast Thursday to explain how its new Enterprise Firewall for iSeries can protect OS/400 shops' critical business information. Three weeks ago, the Cupertino, California, company started shipping its new iSeries firewall (see "Symantec Delivers Linux-Based Firewall for iSeries Model 270" for more information), which runs in an OS/400 logical partition running Linux. Michele Araujo, Symantec's Enterprise Firewall product manager, will host the event. Araujo will cover the benefits and implementation of the new iSeries firewall product. The Webcast, titled "Comprehensive Firewall Protection: Symantec Enterprise Firewall for IBM eServer iSeries," will begin June 12, at 8:00 a.m. PDT (11:00 a.m. EDT). To register, click here.

Sponsored By

What makes IBM different from Microsoft regarding Fast400??

What is Fast400?

You are hearing a lot about Fast400 aren't you? But what is Fast400? Fast400 is a "tuning" product for the iSeries. Fast400 will allow an iSeries server to utilize the available CPW for interactive processing. IBM would have you believe that these interactive cards that cost thousands to millions of dollars, actually add value to your server. By buying Fast400, you do not ever need to buy another interactive card for your iSeries. For a free demonstration of Fast400, please visit

Why Fast400?

A few years ago Microsoft would not let other software companies build tools to work with the Windows operating system. Microsoft did all kinds of scurrilous things to stop other manufacturers' software from working on their platform. They would put code in the base operating system that prevented other companies code from working properly. IBM even had these issues with Operations Navigator. In the early days of Operations Navigator, the developers in Rochester had to scrap early versions because Microsoft did not want IBM leverage on what was proprietary to them. Netscape also had a few problems using the Windows operating system.

The result

Now we all know what happened to Microsoft. After spending tens of millions of our tax dollars in the trial, the US government told Microsoft that they were acting as a monopoly and what they did was not right or fair.

The similarity

IBM is doing exactly the same thing to Fast400 as Microsoft did. IBM has changed the operating system of the iSeries 400 to prevent Fast400 from working. In fact this has been done several times now, and each time the Fast400 developers produce a new fix to circumvent the IBM action. Why does IBM do this? because Fast400 takes money out of IBM's pocket. The potential for IBM to make billions from its user base, for delivering virtually no product is tantamount to corporate deception! Did IBM change the operating system when EMC introduced a low cost storage solution for the iSeries?

The future

The cat and mouse game between IBM and Fast400 is already a year old. Every time IBM changes the operating system to disable Fast400, the developers of Fast400 produce a new version within days to enable it again. Does Fast400 have a commercial agenda? Of course it does. Fast400 is in business to provide its clients with added benefits, which will maximise the interactive performance of iSeries 400 servers. And as we are a business, why shouldn't we charge a nominal fee for that service? A fee that our clients see as being fair and proper. After all, it's not Fast400 that is making enemies in the user base. As long as IBM wants to play "David and Goliath" we will continue to "out" the giant. Fast400 is not running, you can be assured!!

For more information, please visit


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News Briefs and Product Shorts

Alex Woodie

Managing Editor
Shannon Pastore

Contributing Editors:
Dan Burger
Joe Hertvik
Shannon O'Donnell
Timothy Prickett Morgan

Publisher and
Advertising Director:

Jenny Thomas

Advertising Sales Representative
Kim Reed

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