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CA teams on Y2K software tools

Computer Associates and Information Analysis roll out the jointly developed commercial version of a suite of Y2K software conversion tools.

Computer Associates and Information Analysis today rolled out the commercial version of a suite of software tools developed by both companies to analyze and fix legacy applications suffering from Year 2000 noncompliance.

The suite, UNICAST/2000, works with applications written with CA-ADS computer language that access CA-IDMS applications. It finds and corrects data elements in the applications, making them Year 2000 compliant, CA said.

Previously, UNICAST/2000 for CA-ADS was only available through Year 2000 conversion factories operated by Information Analysis, where customers sent their noncompliant systems for conversion. Commercial availability of the product now means organizations can use it for conversion programs in house.

A joint product by CA and Information Analysis, the Universal Computer Aided Software Translator (UNICAST) is an integrated set of conversion tools, developed over the past decade, which has been enhanced to handle Year 2000 date conversion in an assortment of operating environments.

The Year 2000 problem, also known as the millennium bug, arises because many computer programs record dates using only the last two digits of the year. Such programs could treat the year 2000 as the year 1900, causing miscalculations, unexpected errors, or complete system crashes.

The consequences of the Year 2000 problem have been widely debated. Some experts say it will be repaired long before the turn of the century. Others say the problem could spark severe economic disruption if institutions such as banks, utilities, and hospitals fail to convert computers in time.

Fear of widespread problems has led many companies to institute Year 2000 programs intended to weed out troublesome code. Those programs have led to a boom in both software, such as CA's tools, and consulting services that retool existing systems to be Year 2000 complaint.

UNICAST/2000 for CA-ADS is the first in a series of commercially available packages to automate Year 2000 date fixes in software licensed by CA. The next scheduled products are UNICAST/2000 for CA-Eastrieve, COBOL-IDMS, and CA-Ideal, according to the companies.

Pricing for the tool suite was not released by the companies, but a spokesman for Information Analysis said the price usually depends on the contract agreement with the customer.