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By: Kevin D. Weeks
Abstract: Daily news summary for 18 October 1999. Edited by Kevin Weeks
The building and deployment of e-business applications got a shot in the arm
this week with the introduction of the first XML-based application development
environment for e-business. Object Design Inc. announced eXcelon 2.0, which the
company says will provide developers with "the industry's most
comprehensive solution" for building and deploying e-business applications.
eXcelon provides a suite of development tools, including a professional XSL editor. eXcelon's data server is a powerful
e-business engine for storing, managing, and delivering XML e-business
information, according to Object Design. Also featured is Xconnects, a
connectivity solution that enables e-business developers to access information
from almost any corporate data source, convert the data to XML, and load it into
the data server, where it can be used for e-business applications.
One of the key features of eXcelon 2.0 is its comprehensive support for XSL,
which enables the transformation of XML
into HTML for use on the Web or into other forms of XML to make possible the
exchange of business information across the Web.
eXcelon 2.0 is priced at US$99 for the learning edition and US$995 for a
development license. Deployment licenses start at $15,000 per CPU. A 45-day
trial version of eXcelon is also available for free
For the latest in analytic application development tools, keep an eye on
U.K.-based AppsCo Software
Limited. The company this week made two significant
announcements: a partnership with Microsoft Corp. to deliver advanced analytic
applications for Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 databases, and a major upgrade of its
data mart and analytic application development environment for Microsoft SQL
The partnership with Microsoft was announced as part of AppsCo's entry into
the United States market. The company concurrently introduced AppsMart 1.5
-- an upgrade of its software development environment for building and deploying
SQL Server 7.0-based data marts and analytic applications -- to U.S. consumers.
AppsMart enables users to start a design using an analytic application
template, iterate the application design to meet their requirements, and deploy
the solution to Microsoft SQL Server 7.0. According to its makers, AppsMart
gives developers a fast start and consistent methods and techniques when
implementing a data mart on the Microsoft platform.
Another distribution of Linux, like Caldera and Red Hat's Linux distributions, will soon be
available in retail stores. VA Linux Systems,
O'Reilly Associates, and
Graphics, Inc, have announced their
combined efforts in the Debian Project's GNU/Linux package.
In addition to the current distribution of Debian GNU/Linux, the package will
include: 1440 open source software utilities and applications in the package's
CD-ROM; Bill McCarty's Learning Debian GNU/Linux (O'Reilly will also
provide the book for free online); and a demo CD with Loki
Software's Myth II:
Soulblighter game software.
The DebianGNU/Linux package will be available for US$19.95 at retail and
online stores, as well as direct from VA Linux Systems. According to the three
companies, all profits will go to Software in the Public
Interest, a nonprofit
organization for open source projects.
is expected to announce that the anticipated release of Windows 2000 in Q4 has slipped to
February 2000. Development delays and quality issues appear to be the culprit.
Windows 2000 is already in the hands of Microsoft's early
adopter community, helping Microsoft tweak the release.
Acknowledging the impact this change would have on its partners, Microsoft
president Steve Ballmer has stated that a Windows 2000 planning event will be held
later this month to map out launch plans in detail. Still intending to release
the product to manufacturing by year's end, Ballmer emphasized that regardless
of outside pressures, Microsoft will not release Windows 2000 until it is
"absolutely, positively right."
Industry analysts are at odds as to the impact a launch delay would have.
The GartnerGroup has published a study
which finds that fewer than 30 percent of enterprises will adopt the first
release of Windows 2000. They cite high deployment costs as the primary reason.
Giga Information group has opposing
data -- based on its Total Economic Impact metric which measures cost
alongside benefits, flexibility and risk -- that supports early Windows 2000
Sources indicate that Windows 2000 will likely premier in February.
The ever-curious Gartner
Group, Inc. has looked into the Total Cost of Ownership for PDAs, and has
concluded that IT organizations should anticipate an average cost of US$2690 per
year. That's roughly six times the average cost of the PDA alone, which
GartnerGroup pegs at US$450.
Of the total, GartnerGroup estimates that end-user operations and downtime
account for 40 percent, capital at 24 percent, administration at 23 percent, and
tech support at 13 percent. They estimate the TCO for Windows CE PDAs at $2790
because of increased technical support costs.
According to Ken Dulaney, vice president for GartnerGroup's Research and
Advisory Group, "The PDA phenomenon has largely caught IS organizations
unprepared." Like the PC before them, these devices have more or less snuck
into organizations under IT's radar and IT organizations have been caught
GartnerGroup analysts also note that PDAs, like notebook computers, can pose
security risks to an organization.
Uncle Sam has another new Web site. Two government agencies have teamed up to
create a site that provides the current time, and it promises that it is
accurate to much better than one second. The National
Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Naval
Observatory (the top two U.S. time keepers) are members of an international
consortium that defines the official world
time (Coordinated Universal Time). Both entities keep time via atomic
clocks. The delta between each is said not to be greater than one ten-millionth
of a second.
The Web site -- www.time.gov
-- provides information for U.S. time zones only. Inquiries regarding
international time zones are referred to the Date
and Time Gateway, which includes a Coordinated Universal Time display. This
site also offers links to online exhibits on time-related topics such as clocks,
calendars and Daylight Savings Time.
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