IBM has shipped the first code releases of its San Francisco Java-based application frameworks to its software partners for evaluation and testing.
The aim of the San Francisco Project, which is a reworking of the failed Taligent initiative, is to provide developers with templates, written in Java, for building back end business applications such as general ledger and order processing.
Big Blue also plans to supply middleware and incorporate a series of application programming interfaces into the frameworks to ensure they can communicate with legacy applications.
Steve Carter, IBM?s San Francisco Project manager, said: ?This is not a forklift strategy and San Francisco applications will be able to coexist with legacy ones. But, as applications break due to the Year 2000 problem and European Monetary Union, substantial rewrites will be required. And if people have to do that, they will think, why not just replace them with new ones??.
The first templates will be available by mid-1997 and are likely to be packaged for specific vertical markets. Third parties will also be able to build frameworks, although these must be written to IBM guidelines, with the aim of preventing integration problems later.
But, Big Blue has yet to decided whether it will introduce a certification and testing programme to ensure conformance.
The first companies to start prototyping application templates with the early code include accountancy software supplier, Lawson Software, and manufacturing applications provider, GUS AG. Representatives of these companies also sit on IBM?s San Francisco advisory committee.
Some 25 other companies, including Borland and Oracle, have also joined the initiative, which is now headed up by Steve Ladwig.
Ladwig was formerly vice president of development for IBM?s AS/400 division, but has just been appointed general manager of the firm?s new general business unit with particular responsibility for network computers, the Year 2000 problem and San Francisco.
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