August 1998

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MANMAN gets its newest face yet

The names MANMAN and Computer Associates aren’t what one would normally associate with major new technologies for the HP 3000. Then again, they do say that necessity is the mother of invention. The necessity for the MK Group, the independent business unit of CA which owns MANMAN, was for a new user interface technology. Opal, another CA product, had a market leading technology, but it didn’t talk HP 700 terminal codes. This spring and summer the MK Group in partnership with Opal and a MANMAN beta site have been developing and testing a HP 3000 compatible version of Opal. If Opal lives up to what the analysts and reviewers say about it, then Opal should be the most powerful “new face” technology available for the HP 3000. Expectations are that the HP 3000 compatible version of Opal will soon be available to the general market. Look for a official announcement of MK’s Opal based product called Insight at the MK Exchange conference in late August.

MK’s VP of software development Jeff Straw says that individuals at HP have already expressed interest in the technology. Opal is web and multi-media “enabled,” so the demo application on the Opal Web page is very pretty. When MK sent some screen shots of the new MANMAN screens to their advertising agency, the agency came back and said that the pictures seemed rather bland — couldn’t MK come up with something snazzier? Sorry, said Straw, this is a business application after all. There just isn’t any purpose in having pink dinosaurs walking across the screen. Call me a nerd, but I look forward to talking to the beta site to find out just what the new screens do for such plebian and quotidian qualities as usability, efficiency, and getting the job done. Oh bland, bland, bland.

The MK Group calls the combination of Opal technology and their re-engineered MANMAN screens Insight. It sounds like MK and their beta site chose a few strategic screens and re-engineered them for Opal. If the Opal/Insight product takes off, we can hope for a lot more screens to be converted. The beta site customer is slated to talk about their experience at the MK Exchange Conference, August 23-27. Expect MK to announce the next “GA” (general release) of HP MANMAN at that time.

— Cortlandt Wilson, Cortlandt Software

Copyright 1998 The 3000 NewsWire. All rights reserved