Sunday, 26 September 2010

Where are they now?

The Mainframe Zone blog at ran a story about the role of ISVs in the mainframe's success. This prompted a number of responses on MainframeZone at LinkedIn ( More importantly, it resulted in an explosion of trips down Memory Lane for me and my colleagues.

We remembered the time Goal Software took us by helicopter to watch motor racing. We laughed at some of our trips abroad funded by companies that are also no longer with us. Our all expenses paid meals out, etc etc, and we concluded that the sign of a company in peril was inversely proportional to amount and the cost of things they’d give away to consultants and journalists.

Anyway, the original Mainframe Zone article said:
"In 1970, primarily due to anti-trust pressure from the Federal Government as well as an independent lawsuit by Applied Data Research, IBM made the decision to “unbundle” software costs and hardware costs. This meant that over the past 40 years independent software vendors (ISVs) have been able to compete on a even basis with IBM for mainframe software product sales.
"Starting with ADR’s Autoflow, a fairly large number of ISVs have successfully marketed system and application software products that have significantly added value to mainframe systems."

The blog went on to ask which non-IBM software products have been significant to the success of the mainframe?

What fuelled our first trip down Memory Lane was a response from Scott Hatanaka. He said: “There have been many influential ISV software products over the years. Many of them STILL market leaders”. He went on to list:
File-aid, Abendaid, Xpediter (Compuware)
Omegamon (formerly Candle, now IBM)
The UCC products 1,7,11 (now CA)
ACF2, already mentioned
MIM (formerly STAM/SDSI-formerly Duquesne software, I think, formerly Legent, now CA)
Connect:Direct (formerly Sterling Commerce, now IBM)

David Mierowsky suggested, “Candle and Omegamon – the original performance monitors set the standard”. 

Dave Thorn added. “Don't forget the performance and capacity management products: MICS, BEST/1, MXG to name just a few”. 

Eyal Rothfeld gave us another list of: “non-IBM software products (from ISVs) that, in my humble opinion, have been most significant to the mainframe's success:
Operations Management:
4D/New Dimension Software (Later: BMC Software) – Control-M and Control-x suite.
Enterprise Output Management:
LRS – VPS suite.
Important tools:
Sorts: Syncsort
Comparisons: Serena/Comparex.
File Transfer: Connect:Direct(formerly Sterling Commerce, now IBM)
File-aid, Abendaid, Xpediter(Compuware)
Performance Management:
Performance Optimizers: CA/PMO & QuickFetch
Serena StarTool APM, Application Performance Manager, (formerly known as StarProbe)
Application performance measurement & analysis tools – Compuware/Strobe products
Omegamon – Candle, now: CA)
ICF Catalog Management:
Softworks – The Mechanic & later Catalog Solution (and today: Dino Software/T-REX)
Storage Management:
Innovation DP – FDR suite.
Security management:
Top Secret – CA
Vanguard Integrity Professionals – SecurityCenter and the MF Security Management solutions suite.
Systems management:
Phoenix Software International – (E)JES.
Session Managers:
Unicom – Pie suite.
Statistical analysis:
Software AG – ADABAS.
Sapiens and DB1.”

Michael Swanson, President at ISAM Inc quoted some figures. He said: “If you want the Top 10 ISV products in terms of market share (products in the most data centres), they are:
SAS – SAS Base – 80-89%
CA – CA-1 – 70-79%
Syncsort – SyncSort – 60-69%
Compuware – File-AID for MVS – 60-69%
Merrill Consult – MXG – 50-59%
LRS – VPS Base – 50-59%
ChicagoSoft – MVS/Quick-Ref – 50-59%
CA – CA-11 – 40-49%
Compuware – XPEDITER/TSO – 40-49%
CA – CA-JCLCheck – 40-49%”

One of the most interesting threads I’ve read in a while – check it out.

1 comment:

Marcel said...

Well, some of them (ISV's) are still here. When I looked at the list, I could not help thinking: "And how much has changed?". CA's products can now be installed using a modern front-end (, are integrated with the IBM Healthchecker, have nice GUI front-ends while still offering the "good old" command line interface. How many IT products have been around for 25+ years and still perform the job? We should all be proud..