Toshiba took the covers off its long-expected entry into the network computing business recently with an array of hardware and middleware designed to ease end users' adoption of intranets and smooth mobile access to information systems.
Under a concept Toshiba executives here dubbed "I-NCing" - a shortened form of "instant network computing" - the company, by February of next year, plans to roll out clients, middleware and services targeted at easy integration of network computing infrastructure with existing PC, Unix or mainframe-based information systems.
The I-NCing set of software, hardware and services will be available first in Japan, but sometime, perhaps late next year, the company hopes to begin sales outside of Japan, the officials added.
The cornerstone of the strategy rests on a set of inhouse developed Java-based middleware products running on the Windows NT and Solaris operating systems.
One product, called DB Viewer for Internet, lets clients access relational databases over the Web. Other offerings include an online transaction processing (OLTP) access tool that enables Java applets or HTML script to access Oracle databases and middleware for IBM mainframe 3270 terminal emulation.
Another thrust of the I-NCing concept is mobile connectivity to legacy systems. Through a product called Mobile Connect, users will be more easily able to access corporate networks while on the road. Mobile Connect offers automatic reconnect to a server if a line is accidentally dropped; and formatting of data accessed from Lotus Notes by clients with different-sized screens such as PDAs and PCs.
The Toshiba line-up will be integrated with products such as Netscape's SuiteSpot and firewall products from CheckPoint Software.