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January 15, 2016

Competitive upgrading lives on for 3000s

UpgradeIn the 1990s, HP contracted to send its ODBC middleware development to MB Foster. The result was ODBCLink/SE, bundled into MPE/iX from the 5.5 release onward. The software gave the 3000 its first community-wide connection to reporting tools popular on PCs. HP decided that the MB Foster lead in development time was worth licensing, instead of rebuilding inside the 3000 labs. Outside labs had built parts of the 3000's fundamental software before then. But ODBCLink/SE was the first time independent software retained its profile, while it was operating inside of the 3000's FOS. Every 3000 running 5.5 and later now had middleware.

Other ODBC solutions were available in that timeframe. Minisoft still sells and supports its product. That's one reason why MB Foster's running a competitive upgrade offer for users of the Minisoft middleware. The upgrade was announced yesterday. 3000 owners who make the switch from Minisoft for IMAGE ODBC to Foster's software will get a full version of UDALink for the cost of only the annual support payments.

This kind of competitive offer was one of Minisoft's sales tools while it competed with WRQ for terminal emulation seats. There was a period where NS/VT features were not a part of every Reflection package, but were a staple in the Minisoft MS/92.

Foster's ODBC software has been extended to use 64-bit ODBC drivers, embrace Suprtool's Self Describing Files, and more. UDALink was a part of the migration that the Washington State community college consortium pulled off in 2011 when it moved 34 systems to Unix. The vendor has continued to develop to make a state of the art middleware solution.

Almost as notable: seeing MB Foster compete for business like vendors did routinely in the 1990s. The upgrade offer tells us that there are 3000 sites out there still looking to extend their development cycles. UDALink is also built for platforms other than the 3000, but any outreach to capture MPE/iX customers is news here in 2016. Chris Whitehead is fielding the calls and emails for the upgrade offer, which runs through June of this year.

06:39 PM in Homesteading, Migration, Newsmakers | Permalink

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Your post seems to imply that Minisoft no longer offers or supports ODBC, JDBC and OLB/DB drivers for the HP3000. Nothing could be further from the truth. We continue to enhance and support our middleware drivers for HP3000's and HP9000's. We have support for Image and Eloquence. We have a new support website where are customers can bring down the latest versions of our middleware.


Also the Washington State Colleges used Minisoft ODBC drivers on their HP3000's and used our middleware to transition to HP9000 HP/UX. The do not use MB Foster on their HP/UX servers. They use Minisoft ODBC and OLE/DB drivers.

Thank you,
Doug Greenup

Posted by: Doug Greenup | Jan 15, 2016 7:21:46 PM

Minisoft still sells and supports ODBC, JDBC, OLB/DB drivers for both Image and Eloquence databases. Your blog post seems to imply that Minisoft is no longer supplying such software. Nothing could be further from the truth. Customers can download current versions of any Minisoft middleware at www.minisoft.com or support.minisoft.com

Also the Washington State Colleges use Minisoft ODBC and OLE/DB drivers for both MPE and HP/UX. They do not use MB Foster middleware. They used our drivers to migrate to HP/UX and Eloquence not MB Foster.


Doug Greenup

Posted by: Doug Greenup | Jan 15, 2016 7:30:36 PM

Thanks Doug. I tried to be careful not to say Minisoft is out of the 3000 middleware business. The language in the article says there were other ODBC solutions available during the time MB Foster was bundling ODBCLink/SE inside MPE/iX, in 1995. But I've adjusted that sentence to make it clearer MInisoft still sells the IMAGE software.

I'm sure you understand I'm reporting on a sales effort, not a message there's no more Minisoft product on offer. Thanks for your support of the 3000 community.

Posted by: Ron Seybold | Jan 16, 2016 7:42:54 AM

Thank you Ron. I really appreciate your continued news coverage of everything MPE, Image, and HP3000.

Doug Greenup

Posted by: Doug Greenup | Jan 16, 2016 9:25:27 AM

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