Computer Associates (CA) is aiming to reposition itself as a 'soup to nuts' supplier in the mould of IBM or Oracle, by providing users with middleware glue to integrate diverse systems.
The strategy, dubbed Harmony, will be rolled out over the coming year and is based around the firm's Jasmine object database. This will metamorphosise into a product to link up disparate applications, databases and hardware using objects, enabling users to swap out any redundant elements with minimum disruption to the rest.
The move will not only enable users to access disparate data sources via Jasmine's support for third party databases and data feeds, but also positions CA's product set as key to managing an organisation's infrastructure, mirroring the 'cradle to grave' strategies implemented by IBM and Oracle.
Sanjay Kumar, CA's chief operating officer, said at the company's CA World conference in New Orleans: "CA is a company that specialises in breaking the rules, but one rule you have to observe is common infrastructure, to have a safety net that will provide consistency and reliability. The glue that holds together the infrastructure is important, so companies can innovate and differentiate."
He went on: "Harmony ties it all together and is as important for CA as Jasmine was last year. It's a soup to nuts solution. Harmony is really critical to CA this year. It provides us with industrial strength solutions and flexibility."
As a result, version 1.0 of Jasmine, which started shipping last November, will be expanded to include an object based messaging bus. Users can choose whether this supports Microsoft's Dcom object model or its rival from the Object Management Group, Corba.
Other products that will be revamped to support the Harmony strategy include the Ingres relational database; CA's Opal emulation software for adding graphical user interfaces to mainframe based offerings; and its IDMS and Datacom mainframe databases, thus further prolonging their lifespans.
All Harmony applications will include the three dimensional Real World Interface taken from the Unicenter system management product, and will be able to draw on the neural network technology to be included in the next release of that software. Unicenter The Next Dimension (TND) is expected to ship in the next 18 months.
CA is also encouraging ISVs and Vars to develop specific Harmony applications using the Jasmine software developers' kit in a bid to boost uptake in the market.
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