Opal 2.0 shines for Netscape and Microsoft

Users who want to create client/server applications that exploit a Web browser interface and can be easily integrated with legacy systems should get a boost from Computer Associates' subsidiary Infresco.

Users who want to create client/server applications that exploit a Web browser interface and can be easily integrated with legacy systems should get a boost from Computer Associates' subsidiary Infresco.

Netscape and Microsoft say they have agreed to bundle the run-time for Opal 2.0, a development tool from Infresco that lets users create a Windows or browser client that links to several data sources, including legacy systems such as mainframe applications.

The Opal run-time will appear as a Netscape plug-in or Java applet for Netscape Communicator software or as an ActiveX component for Microsoft's Internet Explorer Starter Kit.

Opal 2.0, unveiled last week, is a 32-bit Windows development environment that lets developers work with visual or scripting tools.

"We are targeting medium to large corporations with existing computing infrastructures who have many challenges: Should they go to network computers, deploy browsers, or wait for the Zero Administration PC from Intel and Microsoft?" says Infresco's vice-president of sales and marketing, George Kafkarkou. "We work on any client, through Windows or Java."

Opal allows users to tap data from several sources, including mainframes, relational databases, and PC-based applications, and tie them together with a single user interface, Kafkarkou says.

Opal 2.0 is expected to be available in the second quarter. The company has not announced pricing.

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