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CA Downplays Provision, Explains Integration Plans >By Jason Stamper.

As we reported yesterday, Computer Associates International Inc did indeed use the third day of its annual CA World conference in New Orleans to outline the so-called ADvantage roadmap for the integration of its recently acquired Platinum Technology International Inc products. However the real message to come out of the "seamless integration" talk is that Platinum's ProVision systems management suite is being seriously downplayed, being renamed ManageIT and becoming just another group of Unicenter modules by the time they go to beta in the third quarter. One CA executive even told Computerwire that, "Platinum doesn't really have systems management tools."

That will surely come as a surprise to ex-Platinum people, who for years have been describing ProVision as, "a modular enterprise management solution, covering applications, databases, desktops, networks, and servers. The solution is comprised of market proven tools integrated using a set of common services called POEMS (Platinum Open Enterprise Management Services)." Whilst Unicenter clearly comes out on top, CA does say that "appropriate POEMS services " will be integrated into the Unicenter framework. In addition Platinum's DB2 database management and development tools will be positioned in the ManageIT suite, and also plug into the Unicenter framework.

As we went to press it was also not yet clear whether Platinum's ProVision adapters which enable single-point integration to Hewlett-Packard Co's OpenView and IBM Corp unit Tivoli's TME frameworks will still be actively marketed or even supported by CA. CA and Platinum have had very different approaches to their close competition. The ever-aggressive CA put the boot into Platinum as recently as August last year, offering a "competitive upgrade offer" for Platinum as well as Memco and IBM Tivoli customers after the "uncertainty" caused by Platinum's acquisition of Memco. At that time CA offered a dollar-for-dollar credit of customers' initial AutoSecure license fees against the initial license fees for either CA's ProtectIT or Unicenter TNG. These tactics don't bode well for the chances of CA offering adapters which enable customers to run HP OpenView or Tivoli TME alongside Unicenter.

Another topic that needs further explanation is in the company's Global Professional Services (GPS) organization, which currently uses methodologies from its Computer Management Sciences (CMSI) acquisition as well as Rational Software's Unified Process (RUP) methodology. RUP is very different to Platinum's Catalysis Approach, which CA of course will now support. A GPS executive we spoke to said that the company was offering choice in methodologies, not favoring one over another. That may upset Platinum's Desmond D'Souza, co-author of the Catalysis Approach.

Platinum's ADvisor application development and modeling tools suite becomes ADvantage TND once it's been integrated with CA's Jasmine TND object-oriented (OO) database. A beta should be available in the first quarter 2000. Platinum's data warehousing and business intelligence tools gradually become integrated under the DecisionBase TND mantra, with the addition of CA's neural network agent, or 'neugent' technology. Platinum's AutoSys job scheduling tool gets to keep its name, meanwhile, and existing customers will still be supported, but it will also become the job scheduling module for Unicenter with elements of CA's Job- Flow thrown in.

All of this build, manage, deploy strategy does is further highlight the gaping hole in CA's portfolio in the area of software testing. Whilst CA has Year 2000 testing tools and Platinum has some test data generation tools there are still gaps. Neither has test management and automation software, real- time web application testing, cross-platform load testing, or Windows-based client/server testing. The lack of any testing announcements this week will surely lead to speculation that a testing tools vendor acquisition is imminent; potential targets would include the likes of Mercury Interactive Corp, Mortice Kern Systems Inc and Cyrano SA.
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Publication:Computergram International
Date:Jul 21, 1999
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