IBM eNetwork Software Targets Web-to-Host Connectivity

Looking to capitalize on the increasing demand for IT departments to open access to their host-based applications to a wide range of end-users, customers, and partners, IBM Corp. yesterday released a bundle of Web-to-host connectivity software.

Comprising updated versions of the company's eNetwork Communications Server, eNetwork Personal Communications client, and eNetwork Host On-Demand, the IBM eNetwork Host Integration Solution is designed to allow organizations to link Web-based and other clients to core applications without requiring changes in host applications or network infrastructure, according to Mike McCarthy, client software product manager for the company's eNetwork Software group.

The IBM eNetwork Host Integration Solution is priced at US$159 per user, with a minimum of 10 users per server.

Anchoring the bundle is an upgrade of IBM eNetwork Communications Server for Windows NT, which is also available on OS/2 or AIX. Version 6.0 of the Windows NT variant sports a Host Publisher feature, based on technology licensed from InfoSpinner.

Host Publisher is a Web-to-host connectivity package that allows users to aggregate and present data from a variety of IBM host systems, SQL databases, Java applications, ActiveX components, and other sources, according to IBM officials.

The Communications Server for Windows NT upgrade also provides load-balancing; fail-over; secure TN5250 client access to AS/400 applications; Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory support; Tivoli TME 10 systems management support; an Enterprise Extender for higher reliability, scalability, and control to intranets; and other IP-based environments, according to officials at IBM.

IBM has also released a version of eNetwork Communications Server for UnixWare 7.

The eNetwork Host Integration Solution bundle also includes eNetwork Host On-Demand, Version 3, an updated version of the Java-based host access package. IBM has packaged TN3270E functions, host print, and GUI presentation of character-based screens as JavaBeans components.

The IBM eNetwork Personal Communications client runs on OS/2, DOS, and Windows, according to McCarthy.

"Our customers are facing pressure to get their applications on the Web, while they also have to resolve year 2000 and in some cases euro conversions, and they still need to be able to meet their business needs," McCarthy said. "They have to provide access to new users, but they don't want to have to alter their back-end applications and infrastructures. The software is very easy to load, and the tools are mostly graphical and drag-and-drop. Probably the most difficult thing is Java programming, if you want to use those capabilities."

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