A tool that allows Unix applications to be viewed via a user's Web browser will be launched next week by UK vendor JSB Software Technologies.
The company claims its Unix to Web connectivity product, called Multiview Catalyst, will cut business administration costs and breath new life into Unix applications.
Multiview Catalyst delivers a preconfigured Unix session to the browser user via a compact downloaded ActiveX or Java applet. The character-based Unix applications are 'face-lifted', giving them the appearance of a Windows application.
By removing the need to pre-install client software and centralising administration and licensing of user rights and remote sessions, management overheads of application deployment are cut, JSB claims. Monitoring capabilities for viewing and running user sessions also aid technical support, avoiding confusing phone calls.
Nick Outteridge, JSB managing director, said, "Many companies want to give wider access to the data held in their Unix applications, which are at the core of their business, but they don't have the time or budgets to replace existing systems or to duplicate functionality."
He said that Multiview Catalyst provides a cost-effective method for companies and ASPs to deliver Unix data to Web environments, "breathing new life into Unix applications, and addressing the key issues of user management, security and usability."
According to IDC, browser access to legacy systems will grow from 2.3 million to 24.5 million by 2002.
Darcy Fowkes, research director for Aberdeen Group's Internet Business Practice, warned that suppliers are trying to support as many back-end systems as possible in the Web-to-host market, and that customers "need to examine the level of functionality" products offer.
However, he said that JSB's focus on Unix is "a pleasing differentiator".
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