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

Well I am happy to say that so far, this column has been receiving very good feedback from the vendors that I have talked to. Sure I have ticked off a couple of people too, but as I say, the response has overall been very favorable. It hasn’t been always easy to find something interesting going on, and it’s been harder keeping my mouth shut about some of the things that I have found out.

I recently decided to check in with some old friends to see what they were up to of late. How many of you know Kathy McKittrick? Well she was one of the first people that worked at DISC, then a few years ago she quit to start doing her own consulting. Turns out a lot of her consulting lately is for DISC. With the advent of version 3.0 of Omnidex, which is supposed to be platform and data base independent, it seems they have slightly changed the thrust of the company. They are now offering a three tiered Omnidex product, which consists of:

Omnidex Kernel – the is the installation and maintenance utilities, and the Omnidex procedures and indexes.

Omnidex Drivers – These attach to the Kernel in order to allow for machine/database dependencies. This is so you can get specific about the operating system and the DBMS.

Application Integration – This is what Kathy is focusing on I believe. This is were DISC will provide a custom integration of Omnidex for a customer’s application. This could be as simple as writing an Oracle User Exit, to developing a full blown client/server lookup system.

As always Kathy offers her fast pace two day Omnidex training course. I worked with her years ago when I was first learning Omnidex, and she really knows her stuff.

Given much thought to sorting lately? Neither had I, but for some reason I suddenly started getting inundated with information about sorting. So since I live to pass information around, you get to hear about it too. If you recall I reported a few months ago that Robelle had gotten their sort in Supertool to be twice as fast as the sort offered by HP. I also reported that the newest version of SORT available in MPE/iX 4.0 had at least matched the speed in Supertool. What HP has done is optimized their sort for about 90% of the situations it is likely to be used for. This has caused some problems for Running Mate who markets a stand alone sort product, and they are advising potential customers who are looking at going to MPE/iX 4.0 soon, to try that sort first. A very fair thing for them to do. Well just last week I talked with a company called Magic Software. They have a new sort called MagicSort and it is supposed to be the end-all in sorting. This product comes from an Adager alumnus so it peaked my interest. I will be writing a review of it for the April Interact I hope.

What does this all mean? Well by HP throwing in a superior sort product with FOS it is going to cost business for a few people. I certainly hope it doesn’t cause anyone to go out of business, but they were just trying to take advantage of HP’s laziness in not having improved their sort sooner.

People on the move this month include Gil Milbauer of Vesoft tech support fame, and a former co-worker of mine. Seems he is following the path of several other Vesoft alumni and is moving on to Bradmark. I certainly wish Gil the best, Bradmark is getting a fine techie.

On the blatant plugging my own interest front, I have recently taken over as editor the SCRUG newsletter. This will really only affect people in the Southern California area, but I would love to get any publishable tip’s, comments or just general rambelings, from anyone willing to send them. I am also going to squeeze a quick product announcement in here. I am very excited about two of our new products. The first is EZQUICK and it is a front end to QUICK from Cognos that allows full interactive screen design and QUICK code generation. Look for a review in an upcoming issue of Interact. The other product is DOORWAYS and it is a set of callable routines that you can use to add menu bars, popup shadowed windows and all sorts of neat stuff to your Classic or Spectrum programs.