Dharma Upgrades Integration Tools

FRAMINGHAM (08/17/2000) - Dharma Systems Inc. has released an update to its eUnify software suite, touting new support for legacy applications and XML in the application integration tool set.

Officials at the Nashua, N.H.-based company said eUnify 3.0 is designed to simplify the process of integrating legacy databases and applications with Web-based transaction systems.

EUnify 3.0, which was released earlier this month, allows developers to access both legacy applications and databases, using SQL queries. Previously, eUnify users had only Open Database Connectivity and Java Database Connectivity interfaces.

The new system also gives users access to SAP AG and IBM Corp. OS/390 and AS/400 applications through a Java interface. XML support has also been added to describe the return data that's extrapolated from legacy applications.

Dharma officials said data returned from legacy systems is described with metadata tables that define the data after it gets transformed across application environments.

Welcome Addition

The additional XML and legacy application support delivered by eUnify is a welcome boost to the application integration tools market, analysts said.

But while Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Vitria Technology Inc., a Dharma competitor, is one of several vendors that already provides solid support for data transformation, most companies in this space still need to improve the way they describe return data, said Dan Sholler, an analyst at Stamford, Conn.-based Meta Group Inc.

Using XML-based data structures and a set of Java interfaces to access legacy systems is an important new enhancement to eUnify, said J. Sasidhar, president of Dharma, because it allows developers to utilize business logic from other applications.

For example, using eUnify tools, a Web site could capture business rules from an SAP credit-check application and make use of those capabilities, Sasidhar explained.

Standards-based database drivers offer a uniform way to access data, but integration tools must also support heterogeneous data sources, according to Sholler.

Pricing for the eUnify suite starts at $60,000.

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