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Going native with Unix

Microsoft and Parker Software develop a native Unix client for Microsoft's SNA Server, making it unnecessary for users to do extensive work in order integrate Unix systems with IBM mainframe and AS/400 computers,

Microsoft and Parker Software said today they are developing a native Unix client for Microsoft's SNA Server.

The Unix client makes it unnecessary for users to do extensive work in order integrate popular Unix systems with IBM mainframe and AS/400 computers, Microsoft said.

Until now, each Unix vendor had to fashion an SNA solution of its own with an enormous investment in development, maintenance, and support, according to Parker Software.

Microsoft (MSFT) stated that this is part of its commitment to make SNA Server a true superset of all existing IBM host connectivity products on the market, allowing customers to consolidate their host access needs on a single platform.

Microsoft SNA Server, which allows LAN clients to connect to IBM mainframe and AS/400 systems, already supports clients for OS/2, MS-DOS, Windows 3.x, Windows for Workgroups, Windows 95, and Windows NT.

The new Unix client consists of four API libraries: APPC, CPI-C, LUA/LU0, and CSV. The advantage of the new product, according to Microsoft, is that it requires less memory, CPU, and system resources than conventional Unix-based SNA stacks. The Unix client relies on Microsoft SNA Server, which runs on the NT Server operating system version 3.51 or the recently introduced 4.0.

Parker Software will deliver SNA Client on Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, and SCO platforms. Other systems can be supported on special order. Microsoft expects the single-unit price $1,495, with discounts available for competitive product upgrades.

The product is expected to go into beta testing in September, with the final product scheduled for release within the next three months.

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