Microsoft Introduces SNA Server Version 3.0, Begins Beta Testing

New version leapfrogs competition by introducing several unique features integrated into a single offering

REDMOND, Wash . – , June 17, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today introduced Microsoft
® SNA Server version 3.0, a major new release of the award-winning PC-to-host connectivity product that runs on Microsoft Windows NT® Server network operating system. This release strengthens SNA Server’s position as the leading platform for host connectivity by adding several unique features which link IBM® mainframes and AS/400®
s more closely with desktop PCs, Windows NT Server-based systems and PC LANs/WANs/intranets. Customers benefit by being able to standardize on one product for all their IBM host connectivity needs.

“Microsoft is more committed than ever to improving the integration of IBM host applications and data with PC desktops and servers,”
said Vesa Suomalainen, general manager of the SNA Server product unit at Microsoft.
“This release fulfills the vision of making SNA Server a true superset of the existing OS/2® , NetWare® and UNIX® -based SNA gateways, while adding significant new and unique functionality beyond the competition, all tightly integrated into a single product.”

New features in SNA Server 3.0:

  • SNA Print Service . This feature provides server-based 3270 and 5250 print emulation, allowing mainframe and AS/400 applications to print to any LAN printer supported by Windows NT Server or Novell® NetWare®
    . Mainframe printing supports both LU1 and LU3 data streams, including transparent print jobs sent by host-based print pre-processors. AS/400 printing supports standard SCS line printing as well as pass-thru support for host based 3812 graphics printing emulation by using the IBM Host Print Transform function. Customers benefit by no longer needing to configure printer emulation sessions separately to every user. SNA Print Service enables centralized control and greater sharing of limited printer resources. Intelligent Printer Data Stream (IPDS) emulation products are available as add-ons to SNA Server from IDEA for the AS/400 and Interface Systems for the mainframe environment.

  • Increased capacity . SNA Server 3.0 supports up to 5,000 users and up to 15,000 host sessions. This is a major increase over SNA Server 2.11, which supported up to 2,000 users and up to 10,000 sessions. Customers benefit by being able to utilize fewer centralized SNA Servers to support their entire enterprise. The higher capacity has become realistic due in part by the emergence of direct ESCON and Bus & Tag channel attachment solutions for SNA Server in the last 12 months from Amdahl, Barr Systems, Bus-Tech, Cabletron, Computerm, DrMaterna, and Polaris Communications. These direct channel-attached solutions offer throughput several times that of a token ring connection to the host.

  • Single sign-on to AS/400s and mainframes. This integrated password synchronization and single sign-on solution covers the primary IBM mainframe operating system, OS/390® (previously known as MVS® ), the AS/400 operating system (OS/400® ) and all desktop operating systems that are integrated with Windows NT Server security: Windows NT Workstation, Windows® 95, Windows for Workgroups, Windows 3.x, MS-DOS® , Macintosh®
    and OS/2. The foundation of this solution is the unified sign-on feature of Windows NT Server, which enables desktop users to sign-on only once to gain access to all files, printers, databases, messaging systems and other applications running on Windows NT Server-based systems on the network, subject to administrator authorization. Building on this foundation, the solution provides password synchronization with the AS/400 and popular mainframe security systems which makes it possible to have one password for LAN and host access, and single sign-on, which automatically logs the user into the host security system when the user starts a 3270 or 5250 emulation session. User passwords are kept in sync in both environments regardless of which environment, the host or the Windows NT Server-based computer, the initiates the change.

  • Data Encryption . This feature provides encryption of all data between the SNA Server and the client using the industry-standard RSA RC4 data encryption standard. Because SNA Server’s unique client-server architecture, all existing 3270/5250 emulators and applications written to SNA Server’s APIs will automatically benefit from this encryption feature which can be turned on/off on a user-by-user basis. Customers benefit by improving security since most 3270 and 5250 logon IDs and passwords are sent in clear text from the desktop to the host – in addition to the logon information, all data sent between the client and SNA Server is encrypted. Data encryption is also supported in the distributed deployment of SNA Open Gateway Architecture (SOGA), allowing for secure SNA Server-to-SNA Server communications across the Internet, intranet and other WANs. Since the centralized SNA Server can be placed next to the host in a secure room, this feature can provide for end-to-end encryption of all host communications without placing any additional CPU load on the host.

  • Shared Folders Service . Similar to the
    “gateway service for NetWare”
    in Windows NT Server, this feature allows PCs with no SNA client software installed to access
    “shared folders”
    files on the AS/400. Implemented as a native Windows NT Server file system, the Shared Folders Service makes AS/400 files appear to users as just another drive on the Windows NT Server. The administrator can use Windows NT Server security to set permissions on the various shared folders directories. Customers benefit by getting consistent and reliable shared folders support for all desktops – whether they are running MD-DOS, Windows 3.x, Windows for Workgroups, Windows 95, Windows NT Workstation or OS/2.

  • TN5250 Service. This feature enables any TN5250 emulator to connect to the AS/400 via SNA Server without installing TCP/IP on the AS/400. Recent independent performance tests have shown that a direct TN5250 connection can consume up to 18% more AS/400 CPU than a native SNA connection. By off-loading the TN5250-to-SNA conversion from the AS/400 to SNA Server, customers benefit by saving valuable CPU resources on the AS/400. The TN5250 Service also provides support for UNIX and Macintosh desktops which were previously not able to connect to the AS/400s through SNA Server. While TN5250 provides display emulation only, this feature can be combined with the SNA Print Service, giving each TN5250 desktop user support for both 5250 display and printer emulation.

  • Support for TN3287 clients in TN3270E Service . This features adds support for the TN3287 print emulation (as documented in RFC 1646) capability implemented in some TN3270 emulators. Since SNA Server 2.11 already supported the TN3270 (RFC 1576) and TN3270E (RFC 1647) standards, this capability combined with the TN5250 support (RCF1205) makes SNA Server the most complete TN gateway on the market. Customers that want to standardize on TN3270 and TN5250 emulation will benefit by being able to support all makes and versions of client emulators by deploying SNA Server as their integrated TCP-to-SNA gateway. Combined with the increased capacity and TN5250 service features, this feature makes SNA Server the most complete and highest capacity TCP/IP-to-SNA gateway on the market.

  • Syncpoint support for APPC . SNA Server 3.0’s Software Development Kit (SDK) includes the addition of Syncpoint level 2 support in the WinAPPC API. The APPC Syncpoint API provides the coordination necessary to implement robust, cross-platform distributed transaction processing in conjunction with host based databases (e.g. DB2®
    ) and transaction resource managers (e.g. CICS).

  • SNA Explorer – new integrated administration tool. SNA Explorer is the name of the new graphical console for all functions in SNA Server. This tool, consistent with the look of the Windows 95 Explorer, is the single point of control for configuring and managing all SNA Servers, host connections, sessions, users, security, auditing and other functions in the same domain. SNA Explorer integrates the administration of SNA Server, TN3270 Service, TN5250 Service, SNA Print Service, Shared Folders Service, and Host Security into a single interface. Administrators benefit by being able to centrally and remotely manage all SNA Server computers in their enterprise. The SNA Explorer, built using ActiveXTM technology, also improves upon the existing administration tool by including several customer-requested administration features, too numerous to list here.

  • Improved setup programs . SNA Server’s client and server setup programs have been re-designed to be consistent with other Microsoft BackOffice
    and Office applications. The setup programs also support automatic upgrade of SNA Server 2.1 and 2.11 versions to SNA Server 3.0. Customers benefit by being able to use Microsoft Systems Management Server to complete unattended and remote installations of SNA Server and clients.

“Microsoft has really hit the mark with this release, it’s time for the competition to wake up,”
said Lynn Nye, President of NetResults, a Portland, OR-based consultancy.
“Microsoft is the only system vendor that understands the importance of continuing its commitment to IBM host connectivity and is clearly doing something about it.”

“We are looking forward to several of the features in SNA Server 3.0,”
said Steve Chevalier, CIO of Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.
“The single sign-on will be a big benefit to users in our mixed environment of ES9000s and AS/400s. Data encryption is important to us because of the sensitive nature of patient information. Continued improvements in integrated network management are necessary to grow our network without adding a small army of administrators.”

Pricing and Availability

SNA Server 3.0 is entering wide-spread beta testing this month. Final release is expected to ship within 60 days of Windows NT Server 4.0. The estimated retail and upgrade pricing will be announced at the time of availability. SNA Server 3.0 runs on Windows NT Server version 3.51, 4.0 and later releases. Password synchronization with RACF® , CA-Top Secret® and CA-AFC2®
requires an add-on product sold by Proginet
Corp. Password synchronization with OS/400 V2R3 and prior releases requires an add-on product sold by Execusoft Systems Inc. Automated logon to 3270 applications will be provided in a Service Pack shortly after the release of SNA Server 3.0. For more information on SNA Server, visit the Microsoft web site at

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, BackOffice, MS-DOS, Windows, and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Macintosh is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.

CA-ACF2 and CA-Top Secret are registered trademarks of Computer Associates International, Inc.

AS/400, DB2, IBM, MVS, OS/390, OS/400, RACF, and OS/2 are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.

NetWare is a registered trademark of Novell, Inc.

Proginet is a trademark of Proginet Corporation.

UNIX is a registered trademark in the Unites States and other countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company Ltd.

All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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