Speedware spruces up product portfolio
SpeedWeb, Autobahn, Speedware get enhancements for MPE
Ben Thorman cant wait to get his companys
applications onto the newest version of SpeedWeb from Speedware. The
manager of application development at Flint Industries, Thorman said
his firm is planning to migrate away from the HP 3000s that have been
working at his Tulsa, Okla.-based employer for 24 years. But it will
be more than a year before Flints systems move to HP-UX
servers. He said Speedwares newest product portfolio is too
appealing to wait until 2005 to implement.
SpeedWeb is just one of three products Speedware is
enhancing through a May release, along with its flagship Speedware V7
(Version 7.10, pushed out to customers) as well as the Web
development suite Autobahn. The company is also an HP Platinum
migration partner, but its software still lies at the heart of its
operations. HP 3000 customers make up the majority of its
Although Thorman goes with some reluctance away from
the 3000 I wish HP-UX was a better system than the 3000,
more reliable, but I dont know yet that it is, he says
hes eager to make his users lives easier with
SpeedWeb. The software will let users navigate with a mouse through
screens that used to need function keys, the kind of HP 3000
application enhancement that is preceding bigger moves in the
Speedware customer base.
Changes like interface enhancements at mid-size
companies like Flint, where 2,000 employees work at a pair of
organizations, are part of the innovate before you
migrate message which 3000 software suppliers are sending to
the marketplace. SpeedWeb moves Speedware V7 applications to
Web-ready status, while Autobahn creates Internet applications using
Speedware V7s engine.
SpeedWebs Version 3.00 gives you the
option of turning your Speedware V7 application into a dedicated Web
application, says product marketing manager Nicolas Fortin. The
newest release rolling out this month lets an applications manager
take advantage of different field types, including combo boxes, radio
buttons, list boxes, multi-line fields, checkboxes, calendars and
SpeedWeb 3.00 also supports downloading and uploading
of files between the server and the client. A new $SPEEDWEB variable
uses these new features but still maintains a single spec file, so
customers can run an application as a SpeedWeb app or as a
character-based Speedware application.
SpeedWeb also introduces an SAS server, pre-launches
Speedware runtime sessions to improve performance, permits load
balancing between multiple runtime servers, offers account-level
logon security and reduces file equation limits on MPE. The SpeedWeb
Management utility now displays information about each SAS server as
well as information about users.
The application enhances end-user control over
printing, something Thorman sees as important to his users. In
Autobahn you have to set your printer for portrait or
landscape, he says In this product, its just going
to print right. One of our goals is to have everything Web-enabled.
SpeedWeb will really help us.
One of the biggest challenges at Flint is training.
New managers have only a short time to learn applications, and
SpeedWeb will make the time count for more than learning a
character-based interface running under WRQs Reflection.
Were spread out, and a project manager is going to get
about 30 minutes of training on the system. Its going to be a
New SpeedWeb functions such as $HILITE dynamically
assign display attributes to buttons, branches, and fields.
Applications get more user friendly through features such as
3D borders, typeahead functionality and control of scroll bars in
secondary screens. Enhanced startup file options let developers more
quickly modify the application color scheme.
Im excited about it, and its making
it easier for the user, Thorman said.
Speedware enhanced, too
Flint Industries is an all-Speedware shop, so the two
IT staffers who work with the HP 3000 may also welcome Version 7.10
Speedware enhancements coming out this month. Speedware V7, used by
six of the Fortune 50 companies around the world, has native support
for Eloquence on HP-UX and Windows, including generic and composite
keys. Speedware 7.10 also will support Microfocus COBOL calls.
With functionality coming in 7.10 like the ability to
read and write to bytestream files, support for new assignment
operators, and letting users move dynamically up and down a search
list, Speedware V7 fills all the application language requirements at
I like Speedwares support, and what they
tell me is that anything you can do in COBOL you can do in
Speedware, Thorman says.
Speedware Designer Version 7.10 will integrate with
SpeedWeb, providing full support for all of SpeedWebs new file
types. Designer will also bring support for native Eloquence on HP-UX
and Windows, support of Telnet, Global section aliases, GO and XEQ
support for SpeedWeb applications and support of XEQ with
Speedware is also introducing Version 5 of Autobahn
II with the new features that include:
A runtime pre-launch that allows sites to
pre-launch a specified number of Speedware 4GL processes to eliminate
start-up delays at runtime;
Frame Editor, a new tool in the development
environment that allows staff to easily create, modify and populate
A Server Load Balancer that lets an
application balance loads between Autobahn servers and different
Improved debugging tools for compilation and
runtime communication errors;
Objects beneath an application can now be
merged, and entire applications (including map) can now be merged
from another repository during application creation.
Speedware also has made major enhancements to the
Autobahn syntax assistant in its code editors, to enable automatic
upshifting of variable references.