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Web opens up mainframe data

Even mainframes surf the Web now.

Even mainframes surf the Web now.

At the Networld + Interop trade show next week in Las Vegas, both Simware and OpenConnect Systems will unveil Web servers that let users access mainframe data from a Web browser.

Simware will launch its Salvo, a Web server that runs on Windows NT but takes data from the native protocol of IBM mainframes and converts it into HTML.

The server, which will cost $500 per concurrent connection, will allow Webmasters to customize the way mainframe data is presented on the Web page, adding graphics, Java applets, and plug-ins. Later this year, Simware will add a version of Salvo for presenting data from IBM AS/400s and VT minicomputers from DEC and Hewlett-Packard.

Also debuting at next week's trade show are two Web servers from OpenConnect Systems that actually run on the mainframe. The server will run on IBM's MVS and VSE systems and will let companies store HTML pages as well as access existing database information on the mainframe. The company has not yet announced pricing.

Analysts said that the two introductions reflect the corporate customer's need to match up the new cutting-edge Internet and intranet technology with the massive amounts of data still stored in legacy systems.

"Everyone always underestimates how much data is in on mainframes," said Brian O'Connell, staff editor for Technologic Partners, a publishing company and consulting firm in New York. "Anyone who has been in the mainframe business is looking into this."

In addition, IBM has announced plans to release a Web server for its MVS operating system.

Teubner and Associates also has a product, CORRIDOR, which displays 3270 mainframe or AS/400 data on Web browsers without requiring TCP-IP on the LAN.