NetManage introduces host access suite

NetManage Inc. last week announced a new product line that will provide Microsoft Corp. Windows desktop users with direct access to information stored on different host computers. It also will provide the ability to centrally manage and administer users.

The product suite, called ViewNow for Microsoft Windows, consists of 14 products that enable desktop users to access host-based information on Unix, IBM Corp. AS/400 and mainframe computers. Agencies can buy one or more of the products, depending on what type of platforms they need to access.

ViewNow comes with integrated host connectivity, embedded remote management, embedded real-time support and migration wizards. ViewNow gives the "user the same look and feel regardless of where they are grabbing information," said Marilyn Kanas, vice president of field marketing at NetManage. "The embedded remote information allows you to manage the user; it doesn't matter where the user is coming in from. It could be a hotel or headquarters. Embedded real-time support takes advantage of being able to solve problems in real time."

ViewNow is the first collection of products that fall under the company's eN2000 framework. The framework will allow desktops, server-based clients and World Wide Web browsers to seamlessly connect with those systems through a single user interface. Access also is controlled and managed centrally.

NetManage's eN2000 solutions are structured around a directory, which acts as a repository for information on users, said Zvi Alon, chief executive officer of NetManage. "It provides authentication capability and user information. We've built in the ability to actually assign to those specific users the information related to where they can get access from and the types of clients available. There are also policies about what information users can get access to."

With this latest announcement, NetManage is trying to "rein in all the different types of hosts out there and all the different ways to view the host" and "provide it all under one centrally managed solution," said Stephen Drake, research analyst at International Data Corp.

ViewNow replaces the functionality of NetManage's Chameleon, NS/Portfolio, OnNet Host, Interdrive and Relay product lines. SupportNow, which comes embedded in eN2000 client software, differentiates NetManage from the competition, Drake said. SupportNow allows users to share application screens, files and diagnostic data with support personnel.

NetManage's government users include the Census Bureau and the National Library of Medicine. ViewNow will be available by June.

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