NEURON DATA FIRST HIGH-END TOOL VENDOR TO INTRODUCE
WEB DEVELOPMENT CAPABILITY FOR BUSINESS-CRITICAL APPLICATIONS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | ND-33
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 18, 1995 -- Neuron Data, Inc. (ND), a leading worldwide supplier of high-end development software for building distributed business-critical applications, today announced the latest in ND's Elements Environment: the Web Element. The Web Element is a comprehensive development tool for building and integrating interactive WWW-based software components into business-critical applications.
ND's Web Element is the industry's first development kit that provides both an instantly portable, custom Web browser and development capabilities for the growing number of Internet and Intranet developers. The Web Element has two major sets of functionality. First, it enables developers to embed Web browsers directly into business-critical applications. Developers can also customize Web browsers with Web Element Pro, which provides more flexibility by adding a powerful Web Control and a C/C++ API. Businesses can now access all the resources of the WWW with a custom browser embedded in their applications.
Second, the Web Element enables developers to integrate Web components into their distributed applications by providing the ability to build and integrate ObjectScript Applets. (Applets are powerful mini programs written using Neuron Data's Elements and ObjectScript Language, and downloaded to the client with an HTML document.) In short, all the benefits of Neuron Data's development environment -- portability, object-orientation, extensibility, and openness -- may now be brought to Web-enabled applications.
ADHERENCE TO STANDARDS
Through Neuron Data's ObjectScript Language, the Web Element supports object interoperability on Windows platforms using OLE. Future releases will support interoperability through CORBA standards. In addition, Neuron Data is announcing support for emerging standards for Internet languages, and plans to support Java, Java Script and VisualBasic Script in 1996. Neuron Data sees these scripting languages as complementary to its own scripting language.
EMBEDDING WEB BROWSERS INTO APPLICATIONS
There are two options for incorporating Web browsers into applications. Embedding a Web browser to extend any Neuron Data Elements application into an Internet-enabled application can be done with a simple API call. Also, using the visual editors provided with the Elements and Web Element Pro, a developer may simply click on the Web Control icon and drag & drop it into the application in progress. This gives traditional client/server applications Web access -- instantly.
One of the benefits of Neuron Data's Web technology is the ability to follow links between Web documents. This traditionally has been handled by clicking on "hot spots" within documents to move to the next page or by viewing history lists. To leverage the Web for business use, companies require a faster and more intuitive way to visualize the links available in their documents. For graphical Web link visualization, we provide the Web Link Navigator as part of the Web Element.
When more power is needed, Web Element Pro provides
a navigation API for developers to decompose an HTML document and navigate it electronically.
This enables the manipulation of parts of the document, so static text becomes
dynamic, parts can be extracted, changed, exported, etc.
DEVELOPING HTML DOCUMENTS INTO SMART DISTRIBUTED APPLICATIONS
The Web Element and the Neuron Data Elements together give the developer
comprehensive development capability for building Intranet applications. The
Elements enable access to relational databases such as Oracle and Sybase, the
development of portable graphical user interfaces, the ability to make local calls
to C, C++, and OLE through the ObjectScript Language, and access to Neuron
Data class libraries as well as other ND Applets. It unleashes all the power to build business critical applications which can be downloaded to Web clients and executed at runtime.
OTHER WEB ELEMENT BENEFITS
TRADITIONAL CORPORATE APPLICATIONS BECOME WEB-ENABLED
"The Web Element will be an integral part of our development process," said Greg Stoddard, Systems Manager of the Distributed Processing Team for the County of Riverside in California. "Our goal is to make information directly available to county residents. In order to do this, we would have been forced to develop our applications twice: once under Windows for deployment to public kiosks throughout the county, and again for our Web server. Both of these applications would access data through our internal network, which already stores much of the information we want to make public. We found no other tool could allow us to accomplish this. With more than 200 Web pages, development could be a nightmare. The Web Link Navigator gives a graphical representation of the topology, enabling you to keep track of the big picture."
Stoddard added, "Neuron Data's approach to application development eliminates a lot of unnecessary effort, and allows us to marry our work in the traditional client/server development arena with our Web development. This strategy compliments our direction perfectly."
Matt Frymire, Chief of Riverside County's Data Networks Division, said "Our goal is to enable interdepartmental sharing of information by building our internal Web. The Web Element has given us the ability to use our current infrastructure to achieve this goal."
ENABLING INFORMATION ACCESS
"Neuron Data's Web Element is a significant advancement in information access," said Harald Lechner, head of the End User Equipment Division at START Informatik GmbH. START is a consortium comprised of Lufthansa, Deutsche Bundesbahn (the German railway), and Touristik Union International (one of Germany's biggest travel service providers).
"We have a private network that connects about 23,000 PCs in 8000 travel agencies with more than 140 different travel services providers. We were looking for a way to provide the travel agencies with the same easy access and browsing capabilities we offer to end customers on our WWW Server. The HTML format was ideally suited, and we wanted a customized portable browser built into our new graphical user interface. We are planning to use Neuron Data's Web Element to provide an extensive on-line help system as well as an HTML forms-based interface to the 'last minute database,' which contains information on vacation packages discounted at the last minute. The application prototype will be shown in March at ITB, Germany's biggest travel trade show."
Lechner added, "By using the same HTML format in our private net as for the WWW Server, we only need to capture and maintain information once, which translates into real savings."
THE WEB ELEMENT STANDS ALONE
"Besides rapid Web application development capability, the real power behind the Web Element is its embeddability within existing applications. Add to that the Elements Environment's instant portability to all the popular GUI platforms and open API, and you have a powerful Web development environment," said Patrick Perez, CEO of Neuron Data. "Most Web development tools are centered around authoring Web documents. They are not designed to integrate legacy systems and they don't have a comprehensive development environment for building business critical applications. Others, like Netscape, are only browsers and are not suitable for embedding into extended enterprise-wide applications such as START Informatik's reservation system. Neuron Data's Web Element is the first product on the market to provide embeddable technology as a part of an integrated development environment."
PRICING, PACKAGING AND AVAILABILITY
The Web Element contains the embeddable browser and the Web Link Navigator. The Web Element Pro contains the embeddable browser, the Web Control, and the API. It will be available in March. Initial platforms will be PC (Windows, Windows NT and Windows 95) and Solaris. Pricing will start at about $45 per user with a 500-user deployment license.
ABOUT ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT
Neuron Data's application development suite offers a combination of true portability, scalability and openness that transparently supports a wide variety of databases, platforms, operating systems, network protocols and windowing environments. Its Elements Environment consists of portable software modules called "Elements" -- GUI, Data Access, Business Rules and Distributed Communications. The Elements are connected by integration layers -- visual editors, an extensible script language, C and C++ interfaces and portable application services. The Elements Environment delivers "develop once, deploy anywhere" functionality for more than 35 platforms including: Windows, Windows 95, Windows NT, Macintosh, IBM OS/2, as well as a wide variety of UNIX systems. The company's unique, component-based approach to building mission-critical applications is flexible and supports the changing requirements of a dynamic business environment -- all with no runtime license fees.
NEURON DATA, INC.
Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., Neuron Data is a global market leader in high-end development software for building business-critical applications. The company's Elements Environment product line is used by corporate developers and commercial software vendors worldwide. Neuron Data reaches its international customer base through 12 offices, including London, Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo, and distributors throughout the Pacific Rim, Europe and South America.
(c) 1995 Neuron Data USA. All rights reserved.
Neuron Data, Inc.