Microsoft's attempt to extend its distributed computing technology to the domain of mainframe computing has been delayed.
The technology, christened Cedar and based on Windows NT Transaction Server, is currently in its second beta at 300 customer sites worldwide.
According to reports from the US, the Cedar middleware has now been pushed into a further beta rollout.
Cedar is an important building block in Microsoft's strategy to establish itself in the enterprise. Through the Cedar technology, the company would have been able to position itself in the high-end transaction processing space for the first time.
Explaining the company's position, Kirsten Wiley, BackOffice product manager at Microsoft, said the company had simply expanded the beta programme to include more users.
Mainframe-class transaction processing middleware, such as Tuxedo, is used predominantly in application areas like banking. The ability to recover from all IT failures by rolling back transactions following a systems failure is top priority.
According to Microsoft, Cedar is designed to makes it easy to integrate the client-server computing environment with the mainframe computing environment.
Microsoft's aim for Cedar is to allow developers to create applications consisting of DCOM (Distributed Common Object Model) clients running on the desktop or server with Cobol servers running under CICS or IMS on the mainframe. The Cedar technology supports a client application running on a computer using Windows NT Server, Windows NT Workstation, Windows 95 or any other platform that supports DCOM and Automation.
The delay to Cedar and with Microsoft yet to set a date for its release puts a question-mark over other key areas of Microsoft technology related to mainframe connectivity.
In particular, the future of Cakewalk, the company's heterogeneous database replication software and the Thor middleware to access mainframe data look shaky due to their close relationships to the Cedar technology. Cakewalk copies pre-defined data to and from IBM DB2 database tables to Microsoft SQL Server database tables on demand, at a scheduled time, or according to a recurring schedule.
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