Network computers will make a major breakthrough at the Cebit trade show in Germany next month, when SAP announces Java applications for thin clients.
Analysts believe that the support of large, enterprise software houses is critical to the widespread uptake of NCs. ?This will make customers take them seriously,? said Robert Anderson, research director at Datapro. ?There?s all the talk about NCs at home, but where they really score is as front ends or migration tools for large scale apps.?
This is the main motivation for SAP to release a Java client front end for its R/3 business software suite. A source within the German company said that it would offer the NC product to SAP customers who are migrating from an old mainframe system. It will enable them to keep their mainframe data unchanged, and it can be accessed using new-look interfaces and front end services across the Internet or corporate network. This, claimed the source, will make migration to a new platform less expensive, and requiring simpler training for end users, and partitioning of the mainframe will be unnecessary.
The Java front end will be optimised for the IBM NC, and will be released in a joint announcement with Big Blue, but it will also be available for other manufacturer?s models and even, in the future, for the alternative thin client architecture, the NetPC.
IBM will make announcements of its own in the NC space and, like SAP, is focusing on making the NC-Java combination an attractive option for companies that still have mainframes and want to migrate gradually to distributed processing. For instance, IBM is to work with Borland to develop mainframe-style transaction processing capabilities for Java, enabling support for IBM?s Cics TP monitor to be integrated into applications built with Borland?s JBuilder.
This allows Cics developers to ?join the Web age?, said IBM?s Cics manager Rob Lamb, without leaving behind the mainframe technologies that they trust.
IBM will also announce at Cebit a Java version of its Network Station Manager, which can manage NCs from multivendor thin clients. David McAughtry, vice president of NC marketing at IBM, believes the ability to centrally manage NCs from multiple vendors, plus the Java clients for ERP packages such as R/3, will make the network computer a more familiar and acceptable device for the traditional corporate IT manager.
IBM will also licence the Java version of Network Station Manager to Sun and Oracle through standards body the Open Group, which will incorporate the technology in its work on NC administration specifications.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago