Third Party Watch
Shawn M. Gordon
President of S.M. Gordon & Associates

Welcome to the first issue of my first column, if you enjoy reading it half as much as I enjoyed writing it then I’ve enjoyed it twice as much as you. Ok, now I will tell you who I am, what this column is about and why you may want to read it.

As it says somewhere in this column, my name is Shawn Gordon, I have been working with computers for 13 years, the last 9 on the HP 3000. I even got to program on the old 80 column punched cards when I first started. On the HP I originally started doing data entry and operations and slowly moved my way up the ranks until I finally convinced someone that I should be MIS Manager, which is where I am today. I have worked on ever HP 300 system from the old series II up to the 980, I even have a little bit of UNIX experience. My language of choice is COBOL, but I know Basic (who doesn’t), RPG II, Assembler, all the popular 4 GL’s and of course a smattering of C. I’m supposed to be getting married any day now so feel free to send gifts.

I have done a fair amount of beta testing for 3rd party companies in the past (even when I didn’t know I was doing it), and I like to think I have a good rapport with any of the companies I’ve dealt with. This brings me to the point of what this column is supposed to be about. Since we didn’t have an official title when I started it I will just call it ‘My Column’. Anyway what I am going to do is try to bring you some of the news and pseudo gossip of what is happening with as many of the 3rd parties in the HP community that will talk to me. Hopefully I can get you some news faster than a product announcement and maybe give you a little more information than can be found there as well.

So why should you read this column? Well maybe you found the magazine in the bathroom and didn’t have anything else to do. You can decide for yourself weather to read this or not, so I am going to move on to my first bit of 3rd party trivia.

I went to Cognos the other day, (makers of Powerhouse) at their Irvine facility to see a presentation of their new PowerWindows. Think what you will of Powerhouse as a 4GL, but this new PowerWindows thing was REALLY amazing. They actually have a true client/server application happening where you can write, say a QUICK screen on the HP, fire up Windows on your PC, and run the QUICK screen FROM Windows and have it run as a Windows application.
This thing really demo’d great, I was really amazed at what they had done. Once you have this thing on the PC you can run their screen designer and add radio buttons, bit mapped graphics, all sorts of neat little things. I have to say that Cognos has really done this right, now all they need to do is integrate their environment on the HP better and they will be set. It appears from what they are doing however, that they will forego an integrated environment on the HP and just decide to do it on the PC. That is my opinion of course and may have nothing to do with reality.

My second bit of news concerns everybodys favorite data center management solution company, Unison. It seems that they have got MAESTRO, their batch scheduler working on UNIX now. This is important to Unison and us, since a lot of people are making the move to UNIX it means there is just one more expensive toy you can take with you. I believe they have their spool file management program SPOOLMATE working on UNIX as well. This should make for a real smooth set up if you are running a multi-platform shop that includes MPE and UNIX.

In case you weren’t aware, Unison also bought a company called KLA last year. These guys made a dynamite product called Express that did wonderful things with dispatcher queue management to help increase your performance. This product is also available on UNIX, and from what I understand it’s needed more there than it was on MPE.

Well I see by my spell checker that I have used up my word allotment for this month. If you have any information you would like me to include (3rd party or end user), please write to Interex and let me know.