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

Well I’m back for another round of gossip mongering. I started calling all the third party vendors that I could, to see if I could find out anything interesting, to bad I can’t print some of it. I guess I should tell you about some of the new products that are coming out that you might find interesting.

It seems that porting batch schedulers to UNIX has become a popular sport lately. NSD has just jumped into the fray recently with their scheduler, as well as releasing a whole new version of their scheduler and making it available as a separate product from JobRescue under MPE. By the time you read this the MPE/iX version should be out of beta and the MPE V one should be close.

I also hear rumors that Design3000 is working on a UNIX version of their scheduler. I am not about to confirm or deny this one or give any sort of expected release date. You can call them if you want more info.

In the general utility market VESOFT has had version 2.4 of MPEX out in beta test for a few months and it may actually be available by the time you read this. Some of the high points are that it is now in Native Mode, and all their products now reside in the VESOFT account, the SECURITY account has been eliminated. The product is much faster than before and is just oozing over with new features.

Not to be left out of the UNIX craze, I hear that VESOFT is also working on a UNIX version of their Security/3000 package. This should be a neat trick considering the radical differences between the two operating systems. I wouldn’t start calling and asking about it just yet though.

Dynamic Information Systems Corporation, better known as DISC and the makers of Omnidex, were, up until recently trying to market CIA from Facer. This is yet another system performance monitoring tool ala Glance or Probe. I gather that it hasn’t been working out to well and they may stop trying. They should call Unison since I hear they are looking to pick up a product like this to complement their recent acquisition of KLA.

I promise to not do this very often, but since it is news I should report it. As you have seen from my bio I am an MIS Manager and I also have a small software company. Well we have three pieces of news to report. First is the release of our new electronic mail system called FYIMAIL for the HP 3000 (Look for our product announcements), and the second piece is that Unison is going to start marketing our DBTREND product come June. This is an Image data base capacity trending and forecasting analysis package. Along the same lines, OCS graciously agreed to change the name of the DBTREND function in their SPACECONTROL package due to naming conflicts with my product DBTREND. Thanks OCS.

Quest software just recently added a major enhancement to it’s NBSpool product. It is a function they call Vista and it gives you online report viewing capabilities for end users. Considering that it comes free with NBSpool it’s a great bargain. This should make life interesting for the likes of O’Pin systems, CDS, and NSD who all sell this same type of product.

Also on the product release front, Kemp Software has announced version 4 of MasterOp, a batch scheduling package for the HP 3000. Their new version now has the option of a command or a character menu interface to the entire scheduling system. They have also added schedule recovery to the package.

Cantata Computer Corporation has released a major enhancement to their source program generator (SPG) program. The new version allows you to not just build V/Plus forms under MS Windows, but it also allows you build all sorts of other applications and have the COBOL code generated for you. I saw one the earlier copies of the product and it looked like it could develop into quit a little CASE tool.

Finally, Los Altos Software, makers of DBFREE (which I just recently reviewed for Interact), have released a new module for their FASTRACK 3000 product. This is their sales leads tracking and marketing information system. The new module is suppose to provide a seamless interface to OMAR, the order management/accounts receivable software package from ASK Computer Systems. I have only a limited amount of experience with either of these products, but it sounds like a nice fit for the two companies. I just hope that Los Altos isn’t dependent on ASK in this deal seeing as how ASK just decided to change out another vendor that they were working with.

While I am talking about ASK I suppose that it is worth mentioning that OmniWindow from DISC was originally designed so ASK users could get an interface to Omnidex without making any code changes. I thought that this was a real neat idea, what is really cool about it is that a side affect of this was the ability to trap just about any type of program call’s to IMAGE. I tested this in the extreme once and actually got MPEX to make Omnidex calls to IMAGE from the MPEX command prompt.

I don’t want this column to turn into just a glorified product announcement arena, so if you have anything interesting you would like me to investigate or include, or if you just have a comment about what you think, write and let me know.