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Web Services: Programmers Say Spanning Platforms More Vital Than Spanning Languages
According to a new survey on Web services programming conducted by Evans Data, what programmers really want is a Web services programming environment that spans many platforms, and they are not so much concerned with having an environment that spans many languages. The survey of more than 500 programmers indicated that they were just about evenly split into Java and Microsoft .NET camps, but 70 percent of them said that what they really valued was a platform that would work on any operating system platform. Having an environment that spans many languages is not as important.
That would seem to imply that Java, which runs on all modern platforms, has an edge against Microsoft's .NET and Common Language Runtime environment, which is officially only supported on Windows but is being cloned for Linux and Unix through the Mono open source project. CLR is very slick in that it can run C#, Visual Basic, C, C++, RPG, and COBOL, among others. However, according to the Evans Data study, just about all .NET programmers use C#.
New Manta Courses Available Through Guild Companies Store
New iSeries educational offerings have been released by Manta Technologies this month, including a new series of courses on iSeries Navigator, new courses added to its iSeries security series, and changes to its Internet-based curriculum, MantaNow. The new iSeries Navigator courses include "Using iSeries Navigator," "iSeries Operations Using iSeries Navigator," "iSeries Systems Management Using iSeries Navigator," and "iSeries Security Using iSeries Navigator." A single-user license for the iSeries Navigator series can be had for $636. Manta has also made changes to its iSeries Security series of classes, including updates for i5/OS and the addition of two courses, "Creating and Maintaining User Profiles" and "iSeries Security Using iSeries Navigator." Pricing for the iSeries Security series starts at $788 for a one-year, single-user license through MantaNow, the company's Internet-based training program. Meanwhile, Manta announced that customers can now access the company's entire range of educational offerings through MantaNow. MantaNow courses can now be taken over the Internet anytime up to a year after a customer purchases them, a huge improvement over the previous three-day limit. Multiple student discounts have also been instituted. Manta is giving up to 30 percent discounts on its Combo Pack collections of courses between June 1 and July 15. Manta courses can be purchased on Guild Companies' IT Jungle online store.
Earthquake Highlights Lack of Preparedness Among L.A. Companies
It was an eerily prescient finding. One day before a magnitude 5.2 earthquake rolled through Southern California last week, telecommunications provider AT&T announced results of a survey that found 35 percent of companies in the Los Angeles metropolitan area are completely unprepared for a disaster. While the temblor, which was situated about 60 miles offshore in the Pacific Ocean, didn't cause any damage (save for the evacuation of Sea World and frayed nerves in a few thousand souls), it served to highlight the ongoing tenuousness of business continuity in susceptible regions of this country. The report, "Disaster Planning in the Private Sector: A Post 9/11 Look at the State of Business Continuity in the U.S.," which was based on interviews with business continuity executives at 100 Los Angeles firms, found that 35 percent of business have no disaster recovery plans.
"About a third of Los Angeles companies don't seem to think they're vulnerable," said Ken Allen, executive director for Partnership for Public Warning, which is working with AT&T on disaster planning. "That's a dangerously na´ve position to take, especially when you consider history." The report also found that 20 percent of companies surveyed had suffered a disaster serious enough for them to close down for some period of time. The most common culprit for shutting down was found to be earthquakes, with a 35 percent share, followed closely by fires, which caused 10 percent of the shutdowns. "Local companies without business continuity plans should make it a priority to develop them," Allen said. "They need to focus on protecting the networks their businesses rely on and securing critical applications and data to keep their businesses up and running."
EPCglobal Establishes First-Generation Standards for RFID Tags
Companies eager to start their radio frequency identification (RFID) pilot projects will be glad to hear that EPCglobal last week finalized its first-generation electronic product code (EPC) standards. While many manufacturers and distributors that do business with Wal-Mart, the Department of Defense, or Albertson's have already started testing RFID technologies in order to meet fast-approaching deadlines, the finalization of standards for the Class 0 and Class 1 type RFID tags is a good thing. "This is an important milestone for the EPCglobal community," said Michael Di Yeso, president and chief operating officer of the Uniform Code Council and interim president of its EPCglobal subsidiary. "Organizations can feel confident in adopting and piloting EPC technologies built to EPCglobal Class 0 and Class 1 standards today to meet industry deadlines and improve their business." EPCglobal's next goal is development of the UHF Gen 2 specification for RFID readers. The organization says a working draft of this spec will be published this summer, and a UHF Gen 2 standard will be finalized by the end of the year.
SSA Global Resumes Business As Usual, Acquires Arzoon
SSA Global has resumed its acquisitive streak a mere 10 days after announcing it will go public. The Chicago enterprise software conglomerate announced last week that it has acquired Arzoon, a developer of logistics and trade management software in San Mateo, California. Arzoon's LIFE suite of supply chain and transportation management software, including Global Transportation Life, Global Trade Life, and Global Event Manager, are based on modern Java and XML code and are commonly deployed on Unix servers, often on Sun Microsystems' Sparc/Solaris platform. SSA Global says it intends to integrate Arzoon's applications with the SSA Transportation Management and SSA Warehouse Management components of its Supply Chain Management suite. Terms of the acquisition were not announced. On June 4, SSA Global filed for an initial public offering of stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission (see "SSA Global Files to Go Public").
Bytware Rebrands StandGuard Security Products
Bytware last week announced that it has shortened the name of its suite of OS/400 security software from StandGuard Network Security to simply StandGuard. "We decided to make the change to better position the StandGuard product at the head of our growing family of security solutions," says Christopher Jones, Bytware's marketing manager. "Network Security implied a niche role that did not truly encompass the broad power of StandGuard." The most impressive StandGuard component is its native OS/400 virus scanning and removal tool, called StandGuard Anti-Virus, based on the McAfee antivirus scanning tool, and is still the only native OS/400 antivirus software on the market. In May, the product got a big boost when IBM announced that every new copy of i5/OS V5R3 will include a fully functional 15-day trial copy of StandGuardAV. Companies can also obtain a free copy of StandGuardAudit, an OS/400 security auditing tool, directly from Bytware.
Oracle Acquisition of PeopleSoft Would Hurt: Daimler-Chrysler IT Exec
The Department of Justice's case for blocking the acquisition of PeopleSoft by Oracle got a boost last week, when a Daimler-Chrysler IT executive testified that it would harm his company to the tune of $50 million to $100 million if it was forced to replace its PeopleSoft application if rival Oracle's bid succeeded and it proceeded to neglect the software. Although Oracle wasn't invited to bid for a contract with Daimler-Chrysler, which considered only PeopleSoft and SAP for a recently installed human resources package, having Oracle in the wings increased Daimler-Chrysler's bargaining power, testified Michael Gorriz, the manufacturer's vice president of information technology. "I think there was a benefit to having three independent competitors in the market," Gorriz was quoted by CNET as saying in court. Although Oracle has since committed to supporting PeopleSoft's Enterprise suite of applications for at least 10 years, including the OS/400-based applications PeopleSoft acquired from J.D. Edwards, it is hard to entirely forget Oracle's preliminary pledge to kill its competitors' products if it ever got its hands on them, which is exactly what it said in the days immediately following its hostile takeover bid about a year ago.
OS/400 PTF Guide Moves to Four Hundred Guru Newsletter
For many years now, our partner DLB Associates has been creating the OS/400 PTF Guide to help you suss out the patches to OS/400. The OS/400 PTF Guide has appeared in this last section of this newsletter, and we hope it has been useful to you. The guide will now appear in Four Hundred Guru on Wednesdays.