December 2, 1996 10:00 AM ET

Lotus tries new Web Approach
Upgrade, due to ship in January, enables users to access data via browser

By Juan Carlos Perez

  Lotus Development Corp. will introduce at DB/Expo this week a new version of its desktop database that lets users access data via a World Wide Web browser.

Approach 97 will enable users to write custom applications using LotusScript, said officials at the Cambridge, Mass., company. The upgrade will let users directly access data stored in a variety of databases, including DB2, Borland International Inc.'s dBASE and Paradox, Lotus Notes, and Microsoft Corp.'s Access.

Approach 97 is due to ship next month as part of SmartSuite 97, which runs on Windows 95 or Windows NT and has a suggested retail price of $399.

Also highlighted at DB/Expo:

  • Computer Associates International Inc. will announce availability of Opal, a point-and-click tool for creating graphical interfaces for legacy and host-based applications. Opal will enable users to incorporate multimedia features such as audio and animation, said officials at the Islandia, N.Y., company. Opal, which costs $995, supports a variety of host environments and will run on all Windows platforms.

  • Logic Works Inc. will announce plans to ship this month TESTBytes, a tool for generating test data. The $895 product features a point-and-click interface and lets users generate millions of rows of simulated corporate data for testing database applications, said officials at the Princeton, N.J., company. The tool supports relational databases from Oracle Corp., Sybase Inc., Informix Software Inc., IBM and Microsoft, and other Open Database Connectivity-compliant databases. TESTBytes supports Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and Windows NT.

  • Tandem Computers Inc. will unveil a ServerWare Business Unit for licensing the high-availability software bundle to OEMs. ServerWare, now being ported to Windows NT, includes Tandem's NonStop SQL database, transaction processing monitors and messaging software, said officials in Cupertino, Calif.

  • ClientSoft Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., will announce ClientBuilder WebAccess software that turns Netscape Communications Corp.'s Navigator or Microsoft's Internet Explorer into plug-ins for IBM mainframes and AS/400 servers.

  • Information Advantage Inc., of Minneapolis, will introduce its DecisionSuite Framework, a set of APIs, agents, metadata and third-party products for building decision-support applications.

  • Applix Inc., of Westboro, Mass., will unveil the first product to come from its fall acquisition of TM1 Software Inc.--a Web-enabled online analytical processing application.

    Additional reporting by Stephanie LaPolla

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