Forte Ports Application Server to IBM OS/390

What better way to integrate with legacy data than to port an application server to a mainframe operating system? That's what Forte Software Inc. thought two years ago and delivered yesterday with Forte Application Server for IBM OS/390.

As part of its Open Mainframe Architecture initiative, Forte has tied its application server and tools to IBM Corp.'s big iron operating system to draw on 390's hardware processing speed and I/O bandwidth for high scaling for Forte applications.

The port allows Forte applications built on Windows NT, Unix, or IBM VMS to now run on S/390 Parallel Enterprise Servers, officials at Forte and IBM said in a joint announcement.

"You can develop on any platform, and deploy to almost all platforms," said Marty Sprinzen, president and CEO of Forte Software, adding that there has been a resurgence of interest in OS/390 systems by more than just the 13,000 enterprises currently using the system.

"We're moving Forte from application development to include the integration front. We'll integrate legacy applications and newly developed applications in Forte, and combine them all on the mainframe," Sprinzen said.

"There's a strong trend for access to legacy data via the Web. This (port) means such data access is secure, reliable, and efficient," said Brenda Zawatski, director of S/390 enterprise systems at IBM, in Armonk, New York.

The combination of Forte Application Server and OS/390 platforms puts the application server's transaction support, load-balancing, fault tolerance, automatic software distribution, configuration management, and performance monitoring under the control of OS/390 and MVS services and management.

Forte officials also said porting an application server to a mainframe accomplishes overall server consolidation, higher server scalability, easier mainframe integration, and quick adoption of transaction-oriented Internet-commerce applications.

Targeted at larger enterprises and government agencies, the Forte Application Server for OS/390 is now available and priced starting at US$100,000 through Forte's sales channels. IBM will not be a reseller of the product.

Also yesterday, Forte announced the beta release of Forte DB/2 Adapter for OS/390, a way to distribute access to DB/2 directly from the S/390 platform, without gateways or middleware, Forte officials said.

Using DB/2 Adapter, Forte applications will gain direct RDBMS (relational database management system) connectivity in conjunction with the Forte Application Server for OS/390, making it easier quickly deploy business-critical applications to System 390 mainframes, as well as to integrate existing DB/2 for OS/390 data into distributed computing applications, Forte officials said.

Forte Software Inc., in Oakland, California, can be reached at http://www.forte.com/.

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