Sybase?s Powersoft unit has unveiled its 'Powersoft Tools for the Enterprise' strategy, in an attempt to clarify the positioning and future of its various development products.
A central plank of the initiative is the company?s decision to rationalise product names. Powerbuilder, Powersoft?s first and still key development tool, retains the same moniker, but Optima++, its rapid application development environment, becomes Power++.
Its Java tool, codenamed Jato, becomes PowerJ, with shipment planned for next quarter, while its Web development tool, formerly known as Net Impact Studio, becomes Powersite. Although Powersite was scheduled to ship at the end of last year, it is now unlikely to even move into beta until next quarter, while Powersoft ?re-evaluates the market requirements?.
The company will keep the branding of its S-Designer modelling tool and Visual Components shrinkwrapped ActiveX controls intact.
Peter Kumik, Powersoft?s product marketing manager, said: ?Because the Internet is such a fast moving market, we needed to clearly identify product names and what the tools do. They all fall into a logical picture, but it?s only possible to explain that when the market has evolved to a position where people can understand what these tools are for, and that?s the case now.?
He added that, although Powerbuilder is still the company?s core offering, the company sees the other tools growing in stature over time as they meet emerging market requirements.
As for product roadmaps, Kumik explained that the next version of Powerbuilder, codenamed Panther, is due to go into beta next quarter. Panther will support a mixture of object models, including Sun's Java Beans, the OMG's Corba and Microsoft DCOM, to ensure Powerbuilder-based applications can interoperate in a heterogeneous environment. The product will also include a new debugger capable of dealing with more complex object programming, plus support for the OLEDB standard.
Powersoft also intends to integrate all its tools more closely over the next couple of release cycles. The aim is to enable users to share and reuse the code built with one tool in another development environment, which is currently impossible.
The firm also plans to introduce a common look and feel, where possible, across the product line. A first manifestation of this will be the use of the same front end for PowerJ and the older Power++ offering, while elements of the Power++ interface will also be incorporated into Powerbuilder, and vice versa.
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