EurOS/2 Magazine - Volume 1 Number 6

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Contents

WHAT'S NEW FROM EUROS/2......

OS/2 Warp Server gains support

Industry analysts the Aberdeen Group have pronounced Warp Server to be at least a year ahead of Microsoft's Windows NT or Novell's NetWare. The group claims that Warp Server offers the strengths of both NT and NetWare "plus a lot more".

Aberdeen particularly praised IBM's forthcoming Directory and Security Server add-on, based on the Open Software Foundation's Distributed Computing Environment (DCE), supported by Digital, Sun, Sequent, Oracle and others. "DSS may turn OS/2 Warp Server into the industry's first enterprise-wide network operating system bringing in all other platforms a customer has", Aberdeen said.

Also, results of an independent test conducted by PC Week Labs show that OS/2 Warp Server running on a single processor outperforms both Microsoft Windows NT Server and Novell Netware 4.1 running on 4 way SMP (symmetric-multiprocessing) equipped servers. "We are very pleased with the results of this test, especially considering the fact that Windows NT was running on a server with four 133MHz Pentium processors and Warp Server was running on a uniprocessor machine," said Art Olbert, director of product plan management, IBM Personal Software Products.

According to the tests, OS/2 Warp Server had a peak performance of 56 Mbps (mega-bits per second), outperforming Windows NT Server by up to 26 percent in file and print services. Windows NT Server performed at a maximum of 44 Mbps, while Netware 4.1 placed last. The testing was conducted with Ziff-Davis Benchmark Operation's newly released NetBench 4.01, with file and print services running on a 100M bps Fast Ethernet network. Further details from [the Ziff-Davis publications archive].

Currently in alpha testing, the OS/2 Warp Server SMP feature was demonstrated at the launch event of OS/2 Warp Server in February. An open beta program is planned to begin in the second quarter of 1996, with general availability expected in the third quarter of the year.

Directory and Security Server (DSS)

For a long time, DCE seemed to be moribund. But recently, a number of published case studies have shown that there is fresh interest and DCE now looks to have the potential to become a key network technology. It was given added credibility by IBM's launch of DSS as part of "Project Eagle" with a version available as an extension to OS/2 Warp Server.

One of the driving forces for DCE is the continuing trend towards integration of computing facilities. Where there are diverse systems of differing ages needing to be networked, DCE offers a solid set of services that are widely supported. The other main driver is the increasing tendency for networks to broaden their scope. Most such developments involve different parts of large organisations becoming linked, but there is also the likelihood of more links between separate organisations. The Internet is both opportunity and threat in this respect - it offers the necessary low cost wide area communications, but poses security and reliability problems.

The DSS OS/2 Warp implementation of DCE is compliant with OSF DCE vesion 1.1. It provides distributed directory, security and time services as well as a remote procedure call interface for distributed application development. In addition, the DSS OS/2 LAN Server integration function replaces the OS/2 LAN Server directory and security services with open, scalable DCE directory and security services. This allows existing OS/2 LAN Server and OS/2 Warp Server clients, on any supported platform, to seamlessly access resources across domain boundaries using a single identification and password. Administrators no longer need to maintain a separate definition for each user in every domain that they must access.

DCE uses a Kerberos third-party security service for authenticating both application clients and application servers. In addition, DCE access control lists (ACLs) allow the owners of resources to determine who is allowed to access the resources. DSS provides a security server with full OSF DCE 1.1 support, including the use of extended registry attributes, to make it easy to integrate existing applications with DCE.

DSS provides a powerful distributed application environment. The DSS toolkit allows the development of applications in either a "pure" DCE environment or in a DSS environment using both DCE APIs and DSS enhancements. Although the DSS toolkit contains all of the OSF DCE development tools, it also contains enhancements that make it easier to create DCE applications that are intended to run only on DSS. The most significant of these is the Managed Object Class Library (MOCL), which abstracts many of the common DCE management API functions, such as creating a server instance, into an Object-Oriented library that can be used by both object-oriented programs and more conventional C programs.

The IBM Directory and Security Server for OS/2 Warp is the first product to implement IBM's Open Blueprint strategy. It is claimed to be a large step on the way towards network centric computing.

Exchange of Views

Can you offer comments on your own experiences of OS/2 based server or workstation implementations? Contributions from readers are very welcome, especially in computer readable form. Please see contact details below or mail your ideas right now while you think about it! Or if you want to know something, let us know so that it can be mentioned in future editions.

Does anyone have experience, good or bad, of implementing network fax facilities for a sizeable group of OS/2 workstations?

Are you linking your network to the Internet? Interested in exchanging views on the security issues that arise in this situation?

Have you implement Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) for your network data storage? How pleased are you with the results, in terms of cost effectiveness, performance and reliability?

EurOS/2 Meeting 3rd April 1996

At our 3rd April meeting we contrasted the strengths and weaknesses of Microsoft NT Server, Novell Netware and OS/2 Warp Server.

Moore Stephens' Mike Bruce led off with a discussion about Microsoft NT server. Mike's presentation stimulated discussions about the various protocols supported by NT server and Microsoft's future plans for the product.

Russell Eubanks discussed the increasing competition facing Novell from both Microsoft with NT product and IBM with Warp server. The general conclusion regarding Novell Netware was that through misguided attempts at trying to diversify their product range into other areas, they lost a significant amount of the market share. The discussion continued by highlighting the implications of these decisions and the strategies Novell are using to regain customer confidence.

Ian Thomas produced an outstanding presentation of IBM's OS/2 Warp Server. He outlined IBM's overall Software Server Strategy and concentrated on Project Eagle. Ian reviewed the distinct features of each aspect of the strategy, from Database Server, all the way through to Enterprise Wide Resource Management. Of course this being an OS/2 user Group Ian's presentation stimulated large amounts of discussions.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Ian Thomas' presentation was the discussion about the SystemView module of the Eagle Project. He outlined the main functionalities of the module which focused on the efficiency and effectiveness of using such a module to view network activities.

Given the dialogue generated by Ian's presentation and the strong IBM bias in the audience, it seems that IBM is in for another successful quarter!

Planned Meetings

The next meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday 7th May 1996 (usual time and location). It will focus on software development in an OS/2 environment. Specific topics planned are:

1. PM Programming techniques for memory management etc. by Alan Chambers of IBM.
2. Visual Age Smalltalk versus Visual Age C++ by Andrew Hayes of IBM.
3. IBM Client Server API support and a little Development by Marc West of JBA.

JBA have kindly agreed to provide up to 50 FREE copies of their Guidelines Professional Developers Kit full evaluation version to attendees. There will also be additional OS/2 software to be raffled at end of the event. Please bring business cards or similar for the raffle.

The following meeting will be held on Thursday 6th June 1996 at the same time and location.

At present, meetings are taking place at 4 pm at the Moore Stephens Training Centre, 1 Snow Hill, London EC1A 2EN. Nearest underground stations Farringdon, St Paul's or Blackfriars. Please let me know your fax number for a map or details of local hotels. The formal presentations will finish by 6 pm, but are likely to be followed by extended informal discussions over light refreshments.

If you've any [comments or requests] concerning meetings or the magazine, we'd love to hear from you - contact details below. Which articles do you like or dislike?

ColoradOS/2 1996

by Wayne Kovsky

The next ColoradOS/2 software developers' conference will be held the week of October 13-18, 1996, at the Keystone Resort in Keystone, Colorado. ColoradOS/2 is exclusively an OS/2 conference, and it is exclusively a conference by and for OS/2 software developers; that combination makes it unique in the world. It is also a strongly international conference, attracting a minimum of 25 percent of its attendees from outside the U.S.A. at every conference to date; in 1995 fully 33 percent of attendees were international.

This year will be the fifth ColoradOS/2 conference, and I believe we have put together the strongest agenda to date. While we are not yet ready to announce all of the speakers and events that we will have at ColoradOS/2 this year, during the past couple of weeks we have begun to post the tutorial portion of the agenda for ColoradOS/2 1996 on our Web page. What you will find there is a listing of tutorial topics and speakers, with approximately 60-65 topics posted there right now. During the next few weeks we will be adding abstracts to describe each topic, along with a brief biography of each speaker.

In addition to these tutorial topics which are the "meat" of the conference, we also will have a number of special events, special featured speakers, and various other activities that we will be adding to our Web page in the next few weeks. And, we are in the late stages of preparing our ColoradOS/2 1996 brochures - we have a reserved timeslot with the printer beginning in mid-May, which will allow us to begin mailing the brochures in early June.

We hope you will drop by our Web page and take a look at this partial agenda, and that you will come back several times over the next few weeks as we add more detail and more events.

OS/2 News

MicroFocus has started shipping Cobol Workbench v4.0 for OS/2, Windows, Windows 95 and Windows NT. Workbench has been designed to facilitate the development and maintenance of Cobol enterprise applications. It includes a 32 bit compiler which supports traditional mainframe Cobol and object-oriented Cobol.

Windows 95 and NT versions of VisualAge C++ are now shipping as version 3.5, and the Smalltalk version for those environments has been announced for the end of April 1966. With Direct-to-SOM, reusable SOM objects are created directly from the C++ compiler. VisualAge C++ for Windows, Version 3.5 has similar SOM and workstation DSOM capabilities that IBM VisualAge for C++ for OS/2 has. (Workgroup DSOM should be available by the end of the year).

Unify and IBM have agreed to support Unify's Vision and AppMan for Vision development tools on OS/2, to provide native DB2 support for both the OS/2 and AIX platforms and to provide support for DB2 on MVS and AS/400 through DRDA. Unify Vision will be provided as a development engine on OS/2 and existing Vision based applications will run on OS/2 without being recompiled, says Unify.

Lexmark has launched a 24 ppm monochrome network laser printer. Optra N has a print utility that enables it to connect to SystemView for OS/2, now a component of Warp Server. It will be available next month.

Martin Brampton, chairman of EurOS/2, will chair a conference on "Managing the Network", to be held by the PC User Group on Wednesday 10th July 1966.

PC Week considers that "the marriage between IBM and Lotus seems to be a success story". But they add "neither side can afford to rest on their laurels".

Magazine format

The EurOS/2 Electronic Magazine is despatched by e-mail in HTML format. You can read it with the tags, but it is most effectively read using the OS/2 Web Explorer or a similar Web browser. Simply save the magazine in a convenient file, giving it a name with a .HTM extension. The file object can then be dropped on the Web Explorer and you will be able to read a fully formatted version of the magazine. Provided you are connected to the Internet, the live Web links will all work for you.

Various methods of stripping off the HTML are available if required (see earlier editions of the magazine for details). Alternatively, if you'd prefer to receive a stripped version of the magazine, please mail me to be moved to the appropriate list. If you're getting the faxed version, you might like to switch to the electronic version - just let me know your e-mail address.

EurOS/2 Contact Information

We would like to encourage anyone working to achieve successful OS/2 implementations to participate in EurOS/2. All communications are despatched electronically, via Internet, Compuserve or fax. To receive regular information from EurOS/2, please let us know your first name, last name, company, job title, address, telephone, fax, Internet e-mail address, Compuserve e-mail address, and indicate which form of communication you prefer.

EurOS/2 can be contacted in the following ways:

  • Internet at euros2@ibm.net
  • Compuserve to Martin Brampton 100303,2007
  • Fax to Martin Brampton, Moore Stephens, 0171-246-6055
  • Telephone Martin Brampton, 0171-334-9191
  • BBS Moore Stephens Infoline, 0171-334-0337
  • Mail to Martin Brampton, Moore Stephens, St Paul's House, Warwick Lane, London EC4P 4BN.

Web Stuff

IBM offers Security Enabling Services for OS/2. This is an API that provides hooks into the operating system that can be used by an ISV to develop strong OS/2 security products. SES itself provides an API that allows the developer to provide a C2 security certification like function within their product. You can find out all about SES, and also find pointers to many valuable resources on security issues by visiting the [OS/2 Security Enabling Services Web page]. At the time of publication this server was not locatable, although it is still pointed to by IBM Web searches.

OS/2 now has a free implementation of the X-windows server (a client to most people's understanding). You can find out all about the public test of the OS/2 port of [XFree86 and those that work on it]. XFree86 offers true connectivity to Unix systems operating the de facto GUI standard for Unix. There are commercial competitors from Hummingbird and IBM.

Newly available is the [Adobe Amber Reader for OS/2]. Amber is the latest implemention of Adobe Acrobat, and the first time an OS/2 version has been made available. You can download a trial copy from the Web site, although it is quite large.

Need help? Try visiting [Lori Martin's "totally cool" web site], with lots of OS/2 information and home to Team OS/2 *Help* mailing list.

The OS/2 e-Zine! continues to publish a variety of interesting OS/2 related material. The latest edition presently available is [April 1996 OS/2 e-Zine!]

The Department of Trade and Industry is promoting its [Information Society Initiative]. Perhaps the single most interesting area of this site is the National Inventory, a project spurred by last year's G7 meeting on the Global Information Infrastructure. Here you can find links to the vast majority of [web sites and projects relating to information society initiatives in the UK].

For more on IBM software development topics, refer to [VisualAge C++], or [SOM Objects], or [Club OpenDoc].