Computer Associates and Apple Computer have announced that they are integrating CA's Jasmine object-oriented database with Apple's Yellow Box application development environment, part of the Rhapsody operating system.
As a result of the integration, corporate developers will be able to use the Jasmine Application Development Environment to build applications that can be deployed on operating platforms on which the Rhapsody Yellow Box will run. These include Windows 95, the MacOS, Windows NT, Unix and Rhapsody itself.
Likewise, developers will be able to use Yellow Box tools to build programs that access and store information in the Jasmine object-oriented database, according to officials from the companies.
Programmers will be able to take advantage of these capabilities when the Rhapsody Yellow Box is released in the middle of 1988, according to Guerrino DeLuca, Apple's executive vice president of worldwide marketing.
DeLuca and CA Chairman and CEO Charles Wang stressed that Jasmine and the Yellow Box were designed specifically to embrace object-oriented programming, and as such are a natural match.
"Given our shared vision, it's only natural that Apple and CA team together," Wang says.
"Jasmine is the only solution built from the ground up for building and deploying mission-critical multimedia applications," Wang says. "Apple is the only vendor committed to delivering an object-oriented operating system."
Together, Jasmine and Yellow Box can be used to meet the needs of corporations that want to deploy multimedia applications, says Wang.
"There is a huge industry trend toward delivering multimedia applications," he says.
The trend is being driven in part by the rise of the Internet and the ability to deliver voice, data, images and video over the Internet, Wang says.
Jasmine and Yellow Box's mutual support for Java will let developers use the two software packages to build applications to be deployed over the Internet.
"With Jasmine, CA allows you to build applications once and run them anywhere over the Internet and client/server environments," says Wang.
Wang and DeLuca also announced that Macs running on the MacOS will, via Java, act as Unicenter TNG consoles. However, Apple is waiting for the Java Development Kit 1.1, due later this year, before it can complete the work necessary to let Macs interface to Unicenter via browsers, according to officials from both companies. Macs acting as Unicenter consoles will let users access all the systems-management functions of Unicenter.
CA officials noted that the full Unicenter management package, including object repository, still will need to reside either on Unix or NT platforms.
CA also will offer software agents that let Unicenter remotely manage Macintoshes by the end of the year, according to CA officials.
Apple's Yellow Box is part of the Rhapsody operating system that allows applications to run on multiple operating systems and hardware platforms. By writing with Yellow Box tools, developers can deploy applications on PowerPC or Intel hardware, running under the Mac or Windows OS.
Yellow Box is based on the OpenStep application programming interfaces (APIs) that Apple bought when it acquired Next Software Inc., and it supports Mach microkernel features such as pre-emptive multitasking and protected memory .
Analysts say the Jasmine-Yellow Box integration is a win-win deal for Apple and CA.
"For CA, it's a low-cost way to capitalise on the particular strengths of the Apple environment," says Richard Ptak, director of system management research at D.H. Brown Associatesc. "For Apple, because of the particular problems they're having now, they could use the attention of a big software company like CA."
A question still remains about the potential size of the market for object-oriented databases, given that Informix's Universal Server has failed to generate much revenue since it was released last December to great fanfare. Universal Server adds object-oriented storage and data definition capabilities - acquired through Informix's purchase of Illustra Information Technologies last year - to its base relational database technology.
"We truly believe that the hybrid model proposed by Oracle and Informix will not work," Wang says. "You need to work with a pure object-oriented model to take advantage of multimedia."
The problem with hybrid object-relational databases, CA officials say, is that performance suffers when data defined as objects get stored back and mapped on to the relational part of the databases.
"I think they [CA] have a point," says Ptak. "And I think there is a need for object-oriented databases."
The move toward object-oriented applications is slow, however, because global competition today is so fierce it doesn't leave much leeway for error. Therefore large corporations are more careful in deploying brand-new technology, says Ptak.