Tech Industry

IBM's Project Eagle finally flies

IBM pushed its Project Eagle server software out of the nest today, thus providing the company's long-awaited answer to Microsoft's BackOffice suite of server applications.

IBM pushed its Project Eagle server software out of the nest today, thus providing the company's long-awaited answer to Microsoft's BackOffice suite of server applications.

The announcement of what IBM has officially dubbed the Software Server Series involves more than 50 IBM products grouped together in seven separate packages. Each package is aimed at different application uses but can be mixed and matched to suit an individual business. Each is also available for three different server operating systems: OS/2, IBM's AIX flavor of Unix, and Windows NT.

The seven packages are:
--Lotus Notes for setting up Notes Release 4 servers
--Internet Connection Server built around IBM's own Internet Server
--Communications Server for connecting host-based and PC-based networks via IBM's AnyNet/2 and Communications Manager/2
--Database Server for setting up DB2 databases and connecting them to the Web
--Directory and Security Server including IBM's network management software based on the Open Software Foundation's Distributed Computing Environment
--Systems Management Server for using IBM's SystemView and newly acquired products from Tivoli Systems to manage software across the network
--Transaction Server for setting up and monitoring transaction processing systems based on IBM's CICS and Encina.

By embracing NT, IBM is demonstrating a recent softening in its long rivalry with Microsoft over operating systems. But while Project Eagle introduces little new technology, the packages' aggressive pricing shows that the company is serious about competing with BackOffice in the enterprise server software market. For example, the Database Server will cost $999 for OS/2 Warp, a significant drop compared to the old price tag of $1,359 and right in line with the $995 that Microsoft charges for its competing SQL Server database.

IBM will still make Windows NT users wait awhile, however. Only the Notes and the Internet Connection Servers for NT are available today; the Database Server for NT will show up in the second half of the year, and the rest will ship next year. The Systems Management and Directory & Security Servers for OS/2 will also ship in the second half of 1996, though all the other packages are available now. All the AIX products are available immediately.

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