Software AG Announces ESPERANT Version 3.0; Continues Technology Leadership with the Ability to Build Queries That Can Access and Join Data from Different Data Sources.
ESPERANT 3.0 builds on the current version's unique ability to generate complex, accurate queries easily and without end-user SQL knowledge, and empowers end-users with access to data throughout the enterprise. The new heterogeneous RDBMS join feature continues the ESPERANT tradition of providing powerful, expert systems technology that is completely transparent to the end-user.
"The power of ESPERANT 2.1's expert systems technology and SQL generator earned Software AG two product of the year awards, as well as a technology leadership position in this market," said Rob Vonderhaar, general manager of Software AG's ESPERANT Division. "With ESPERANT 3.0, we have gone above and beyond what the marketplace expects, with concurrent heterogeneous database access, integrated graphics capabilities, and a slew of new features designed to bring the power of ESPERANT quickly to any level of end-user."
Ability to Query More Than One Database At a Time:
This new feature allows users to concurrently query and join information from any two data sources across different platforms and without special middleware. For example, an end-user can write a query that accesses data stored in a departmental Oracle database, and transparently joins it to other data located in DB2 on a mainframe. ESPERANT 3.0's Intelligent Query Decomposition technology automatically creates the multiple SQL SELECT statements needed to access each underlying RDBMS, and offloads all possible processing (including joins and aggregation) to the remote RDBMS servers for efficiency. Only the minimal result sets are then returned to ESPERANT, which performs the final joins and delivers the correct answer to the end-user quickly.
New Reporting and Integrated Graphics Capabilities:
ESPERANT 3.0 features "live data formatting," enabling rapid creation of tabular reports while viewing the actual query results. Users can change column order via drag-and-drop, change grouping or sorting criteria, create "top n" ranking reports, perform totaling operations, and many others -- all without rerunning the query. Also included are new, fully integrated graphic capabilities within the ESPERANT Reporter. This integration supports 14 types of two and three-dimensional graphics and makes it easier to graph and chart query results. For example, charts are simply dragged and dropped from a drawing palette into the report, and a charting wizard then appears to specify the desired type of chart and formatting. Charts behave as 'objects,' which are automatically sorted and grouped together with other data fields in the report.
The new Batch Scheduler feature allows end-users to schedule queries and reports to run at specific times, on either a one-time or periodic basis. It also enables users to run queries on a remote PC server, thus freeing up their own workstations for other tasks while the query is being run. To facilitate batch execution, ESPERANT 3.0 includes a new macro/scripting language, which can be used through either a point-and-click editor or a macro recorder. Scripts can sequentially invoke a whole series of ESPERANT operations, or even start other third-party processes as required. In addition, because ESPERANT's batch scheduler is completely PC-based, it is totally independent of any particular RDBMS server or hardware -- allowing batch queries against any data source, including LAN-based files like dBase or FoxPro.
ESPERANT 3.0 allows end-users to iconize a query -- save a query and build an icon for it. Users can build "prompt for information" into these iconized queries to make them even more useful. For example, each week an administrator for a sales group might need to run a weekly report for several sales regions. This user could build an "iconized query" that after double-clicking, prompts them for the date and sales region.
With ESPERANT 3.0's new Executive Desktop facility, database administrators or more advanced users can create an EIS-like "iconized" front-end which provides one-click access to a series of predefined queries and reports. This enables novice end-users to be productive with ESPERANT immediately, and satisfies the need to provide different levels of access to different types of users. The Executive Desktop displays all available queries, reports and scripts -- each with a selectable icon and detailed descriptive text. End-users do not even have to open ESPERANT directly to access their Executive Desktop -- it is configured as a totally separate executable module. For example, with a single mouse click, a novice user could initiate a predefined script that starts ESPERANT, prompts the user for the desired state, runs a month-end sales report by customer for that state, downloads the results, starts Excel, imports the data, and formats the columns appropriately -- with all these processes transparent to the end-user.
With ESPERANT 3.0, query results are returned to the user's PC in small increments on an "as-needed" basis. Because users no longer wait for all of the data to be returned before the first screen of results is displayed, perceived performance is greatly improved. Also, network traffic is reduced by allowing the user to cancel the query at any time before needlessly fetching the full result set. In addition, users can resort or regroup query results without re-running the query. Finally, new options allow the DBA to centrally specify an inactivity timeout period for each user group, after which ESPERANT will automatically disconnect from the server. This reduces the load on the RDBMS server by logging out user sessions which are not actively being used.
Additional Support for Accessing Legacy SQL:
End-users with custom SQL queries are now able to integrate them into ESPERANT 3.0. For example, ESPERANT 3.0 can open and use SQL queries generated by IBM's QMF for DB2 or custom-written by a programmer, allowing customers to leverage their investment from an easy-to-use desktop product.
Enhanced Administration Features:
ESPERANT 3.0 introduces new DataView security, allowing the DBA to control access to specific DataViews by user or user group. Also, new GUI dialogs have been added which speed the creation and maintenance of DataViews: Joins, Categories, Items, and Virtual Columns can now be created and edited by simply pointing and clicking with the mouse.
ESPERANT 3.0 is in customer beta today with a targeted ship date of June, 1995. Pricing remains the same as for Version 2.1: $595 each for 1-8 copies, and dropping to $355 each for 513-1,014 copies. LAN Block pricing remains from $3,750 for 1-8 user LANs to $79,970 for 129-256 users. Free training is included with the purchase of multiple copies of ESPERANT.
ESPERANT operates on IBM PCs and compatibles running Windows 3.1 or higher, and supports virtually all popular RDBMSs including: Oracle, Sybase/SQL Server, DB2 and DB2/2, Software AG's ADABAS C and ADABAS D, Informix, and most other SQL-based ODBC or QELIB data sources including local PC files (dBase, FoxPro, Paradox, Microsoft Access, flat files, etc.). ESPERANT directly supports the following Network APIs: Oracle's SQL*Net, Sybase's DBLIB, Microsoft's ODBC, Software AG's ENTIRE ACCESS with ENTIRE NET-WORK, and TechGnosis' SequeLink. For more information or to place an order, call 1-800-423-2227 or contact your local Software AG sales office.
Software AG, with primary locations in Reston, Virginia and Darmstadt, Germany, is one of the largest independent software firms in the world. The company develops and markets open, multi-platform product solutions including: ENTIRE for developing and deploying distributed computing solutions, NATURAL for application engineering, ESPERANT-a, a state-of-the-art SQL query and reporting tool, and ADABAS for database management.
Founded in 1969, Software AG has customers in over 80 countries, and reported revenues of $510 million (U.S.) dollars in 1993.
ADABAS, ENTIRE and NATURAL are registered trademarks of Software AG. ESPERANT is a trademark of Software AG.
Note to Press: Sales information can be obtained by calling call 1-800-423-2227 or by accessing Software AG's Home Page at http://www.sagus.com. Please do not publish press-contact or corporate telephone numbers for sales information.
a- ESPERANT Awards: 1994 PC Week Labs "Top Products of the Year" and a 1994 Datamation "Editor's Choice Award."
CONTACT: Lee Harbin, Software AG, (703) 391-6560
Pat Arcand, Copithorne & Bellows, (617) 252-0606