Publisher Arnoldo Mondadori – Mondadori’s Company Archive
Magazine…. Pc Week
Publication Number…. 0043
Page Number…. 0006
Subheading…. Interview with X-Plus
Title …. PROGRAMMING TOGETHER
Summary…. Three software companies in the global Olivetti community join forces to
deal with the transition from Ms-Dos to Unix
Author ….Roberto Mazzoni
Topics …. Computer Industry
Type …. News
Location…. Milan MI Lombardy Northern Italy Italy
Subjects…. X-Team, Consoftware Ambrosiano, Abacus Computer, Computers
Creation Date ….08/04/1989
Associated companies will be transferring their current procedures
from the operating system MS-DOS to UNIX
Main Article Text
The software market that deals with management functions and the vertical procedures carried out for this specific purpose are being transformed; three of the main software houses operating in the Olivetti personal computer market are witness to this transformation; Consoftware Ambrosiano in Milan, Abaco Computing from Prato and Computers of Bergamo. These companies are, in fact, affiliating themselves with the transfer of the current system procedures designed to work with Ms-Dos so as to operate under Xenix and Unix. By itself, the decision does not have innovative characteristics: there are already numerous national software houses touting packages capable of running multi-user systems, just think of Esa of Rimini.
What is changing is instead the policy adopted for this passage. To begin with, the initiative comes from a consortium of companies including the three mentioned above, rather than by a single company. Moreover, it is not an alliance aimed simply to benefit from a favorable business situation, but a sort of club of programmers which have the intention of following the rules of this alliance. Operating under the name, X-Team (via Santa Marta 19, 20123 Milan, tel. 02 8057117) those dealers and software companies who have already gained considerable experience working in the world of Ms-Dos are invited to come together, providing they can offer qualifying guarantees in the area of assistance, entrepreneurial skills, and that they have their own design know-how in dealing with procedures in C programming language.
Silvio Galmozzi, spokesman for Computers, explains: Programming logic has to be coded. Furthermore, each of the companies participating in the X-Team must comply with the production of standard manuals for, compliance with sample contracts, and regular updates of the software. Among the terms of the contract, there is also a commitment not to sell discounted from the list price, more than 30%. Practically, the old packages developed in Basic or other languages are retained only for the phase of analysis while the project is being rebuilt from scratch. The commercial problems didn’t arise from questions about the quality of the product, but the price changes engendered by excessive diffusion of the packages within the same area. Galmozzi continues saying that this phenomenon is particularly acute in the range of the low-end market. Today the price of a Xenix machine can be seven or eight million lire with the proliferation of retailers competing with each other increasing rapidly.
X-Team for the time being has set up two procedures: Sintonia, which is the evolution of Apice package (a procedure of integrated
management for small and medium sized businesses) and Pyramid, which is a transformation of Mosaic (an automation package for the technical departments of public agencies). In addition to having the ability to resell these two packages, and their previous version for MS-DOS, X-Team offers its members a series of programming tools that were used to develop Sintonia and Pyramid. Naturally the choice of which software company to use will be conducted in such a way as to discourage competition in common territories, which means, there may not be more than one X-Team distributor that for each geographical area,
The generators of C applications, referred to as R-Tools, which has been previously mentioned, were made by Abacus Computer engineers, after experiencing other advanced products evolved for programming under Unix, such as Informix 4G1. Dealing with a management database allows you to reach performances that are appealing, but does not take into account certain critical points; especially when dealing with response times, explains Alfio Tiezzi, of Abaco Informatica. Using high-level Informix language, these limitations can be exceeded, but one finds oneself in a highly rigid work environment, which is not terribly adaptable and in the end one must still design some functions in C, thereby losing some of the advantages of rapid development. R-Tools contains a set of C functions given to programming support, input and printing management. It is a complete package, which X-Team intends jealously and exclusively to preserve for the use of only its most loyal partners extending additional value to the mutual relationship. In fact, using these tools, the members can customize the applications for their own use, creating vertical solutions suited specifically to the local market.