Microsoft and Parker Software to Develop UNIX Clients for SNA Server

REDMOND, Wash./NEW YORK, Aug. 29, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. and Parker Software Inc. today announced the development of a native UNIX client for Microsoft® SNA Server. Similar clients are available from Microsoft for the MS-DOS® , Windows® 3.x, Windows for Workgroups, OS/2, Windows 95 and Windows NT® Workstation operating systems and allow LAN-based clients to connect through SNA Server to IBM mainframe and AS/400 systems. The UNIX client will be made available for all popular UNIX variants by Parker Software.

“We’re committed to making 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,”
said Vesa Suomalainen, general manager of the host integration product unit at Microsoft.
“This UNIX client makes it unnecessary for customers to deploy expensive UNIX-based SNA stacks to integrate popular UNIX systems with IBM mainframe and AS/400 computers.”

“We have quite possibly brought a new standard to UNIX,”
said Norm Friedman, president of Parker Software.
“In the past, each UNIX vendor had to fashion an SNA solution of its own, with an enormous investment in development, maintenance and support. There are probably as many different SNA stacks as there are diverse versions of UNIX. Our product allows ISVs and end users to standardize on SNA Server for consistent UNIX-to-host access. Microsoft SNA Server has won several awards in the Windows environment, and now the UNIX community can make use of the same platform to its own advantage.”

“Most large SNA networks support a variety of desktops, including UNIX users,”
said Don Czubek, president of Gen2 Ventures, a Saratoga, Calif.-based consultancy.
“With this UNIX client, Microsoft SNA Server is positioned to deliver a single SNA solution for all of these users.”

The UNIX client consists of four API libraries: APPC, CPI-C, LUA/LU0 and CSV. The libraries are a rich set of SNA interfaces for program-to-program communication to IBM mainframes and AS/400s. Many advanced SNA features are provided: APPC includes Syncpoint support; CPI-C level 1.2 is supported, with many level 2.0 extensions; LUA/LU0 includes both the low-level RUI and high-level SLI interfaces; CSV includes an industry-standard programmatic interface to IBM’s NetView. The libraries allow corporate developers a high degree of flexibility to integrate UNIX applications alongside all Microsoft BackOffice
family products. Parker Software will also offer an optional TN3270 module, thereby providing a total replacement for UNIX-based SNA stacks.

On the server side, the UNIX client relies entirely on Microsoft SNA Server, which runs on the Microsoft Windows NT Server operating system version 3.51 or 4.0. Like other clients for SNA Server, the UNIX client dynamically locates available SNA Server computers and downloads the appropriate client configuration automatically. Because the UNIX client fully supports the security and reliability features of SNA Server and Windows NT Server, it benefits from advanced SNA Server features such as client/server data encryption, load balancing and fault tolerance.

On the client side, the UNIX client for SNA Server requires much less memory, CPU and system resources than a conventional UNIX-based SNA stack. There are no device drivers and no tuning parameters, and no precious kernel memory is used. Thousands of sessions are supported. The software can be configured and sample programs become operational in minutes.

Pricing and Availability

The SNA Client for UNIX will be available directly from Parker Software. Platforms supported are Solaris, HP-UX, AIX and SCO (with other systems by special order). The single-unit price is expected to be $1,495, with a 50 percent discount for competitive product upgrades. The UNIX client is expected to be available within 90 days, with beta testing scheduled to start in September.

SNA Server Background

Microsoft SNA Server is an eighth-generation host-connectivity and integration product. Its advanced client/server architecture offloads the communications processing from host computers and desktop PCs, allowing each system to do what it does best. It enables PCs to use a standard LAN protocol, such as TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, NetBEUI, Banyan VINES IP or AppleTalk, to connect to one or more SNA Servers. SNA Server then connects to IBM mainframes and AS/400s using SNA protocols.

SNA Server has won several reviews and awards, including PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice (September 1995), Internetwork magazine’s Standards Achievement Award (October 1995), LAN magazine’s Host Connectivity Product of the Year Award (March 1996) and PC Week’s Corporate IT Excellence Award (April 1996).

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.

Parker Software develops, markets and supports UNIX and Windows NT-based connectivity and network management software products. For more information, contact Parker Software Inc., 108 East 31st St., New York, N.Y. 10016; phone (212) 843-0140; fax (212) 889-5281; e-mail [email protected].

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

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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