Boole offers MQSeries management

Systems management specialist Boole & Babbage Inc. has developed a tool for managing IBM Corp.'s popular MQSeries messaging middleware, and the company plans to offer customers a 90-day free trial of the tool beginning in June.

Boole & Babbage, the maker of Command Post management software, designed Command MQ to ease the deployment and management of MQSeries across a distributed enterprise.

Messaging middleware technology makes it possible for multiple applications running on different platforms to share data by managing the flow of information from one application to another through secure, asynchronous data queues. The technology plays a key role when an organization is trying to get legacy information distributed in its environment, and it eliminates the need for in-house developers to write complex communications code for each computing platform.

MQSeries is a powerful technology, but it needs to be managed, said Mike Bunyard, senior director of product marketing for Boole & Babbage. Command MQ provides tools to configure MQSeries, automate tasks and monitor the huge flow of data messages, Bunyard said.

"Most of our customers are running applications which are highly valuable, mission-critical applications and are needing to use tools like ours to keep things up and running and make sure [the applications] are performing,'' Bunyard said.

Customers who want to try Command MQ will be able to download the Command MQ "BonusPac'' from the company's World Wide Web site and try it out before purchasing it, Bunyard said. The product will cost $15,000 on the company's General Services Administration schedule.

Customers can use the BonusPac to go to full-blown production of MQSeries quickly by using its Internet Explorer-based interface, Bunyard said. He said it can be installed in about 10 minutes and used on a variety of platforms, including Unix, Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT and IBM AS/400. Information about BonusPac and how to access it on the Web also will be bundled with each copy of MQSeries.

Hot Technology

MQSeries and its applications are one of the hottest technologies being sold to federal agencies, said Bob Rowen, MQ federal specialist for Boole & Babbage. "This is one of the most progressive and robust technologies to enter into the government marketplace in a long time,'' Rowen said. "It took them longer to catch on in the government side of the house, but the momentum is unbelievable.''

The Boole & Babbage strategy is aimed at the MQSeries installed base of 4,000 users worldwide, including about 200 users at government agencies. In the United States, MQSeries is installed at the Customs Service, the U.S. Postal Service and the departments of Defense, Justice and Energy.

Rowen said MQSeries and Command MQ helped one DOD agency integrate multiple platforms, including IBM mainframes running the Multiple Virtual Storage operating system and workstations running Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris, IBM's AIX and Microsoft's Windows NT, all with multiple levels of security.

Herb Van Hook, program director at Meta Group Inc., said Boole & Babbage's tools are targeted at organizations that have medium-to-large message-queuing implementations, or about 10 or more queuing managers, he said. "They came up with BonusPac and have packaged it differently in a try-and-buy kind of approach," Van Hook said.

Bill Murphy, research analyst at The Standish Group, said Boole & Babbage is the only vendor to offer a free download of its product, but two competitors, Candle Corp. and BMC Software Inc., are sure to follow.


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