Japan-US Business Report LogoJapan-U.S. Business Report

No. 347, August 1998

Issue Index

American Companies in Japan


SOFTWARE AND INFORMATION SERVICES

AMERICA ONLINE, INC.'s local operation has added an on-line stock-trading page to its list of customer services. Developed and supported by IMAGAWA SECURITIES CO., LTD., the service provides real-time stock quotes over the Internet as well as historical data on trading at Japan's top three exchanges. Imagawa Securities has waived its usual annual fee for AOL subscribers, but they have to open an account with the broker's Web Broker system.

About 1,400 outlets that stock EASTMAN KODAK CO. film are participating in the company's Kodak Kids digital image-processing service. Via the Internet, customers can browse through stored photographs and then order copies to be picked up at their local retailer. The copies can be in the form of prints or data on a CD or a magneto-optical disk. The service uses software developed by PHOTONET JAPAN INC., a joint venture between Herndon, Virginia PICTUREVISION INC. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 342, March 1998, p. 5) and photofinisher PLAZA CREATE CO., LTD.

Through its subsidiary, LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORP. is marketing software that allows Internet service providers to host Internet conferences. Using the package, ISPs set up private workspaces on their servers allowing authorized end-users to collaborate using groupware applications. Instant!TEAMROOM enables participants to rent only the software components they need when they need them. Such ISPs as CSK NETWORK SYSTEMS CORP., DIRECT INTERNET CORP., NTT DATA CORP. and NTT PC COMMUNICATIONS, INC. have launched or soon will begin renting TeamRooms.

IBM JAPAN LTD. is offering two electronic commerce packages. The company has bundled its middleware, groupware and other e-commerce applications for resale through SOFTBANK CORP., which will distribute the products through at least 10 value-added resellers and integrators, including CSK CORP. The other product is the Gold Direct electronic banking services package. The suite provides a turnkey solution for financial institutions that quickly want to provide their customers with secure, on-line financial services.

Not to be outdone, MICROSOFT CORP. has teamed with NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORP. to offer an e-commerce server package. Using the Japanese version of Microsoft's Site Server 3.0 Electronic Commerce Edition as the core, NTT will develop a suite tailored for local markets. The NTT Commercial Internet/Intranet System will be available in September. It could be the first of just several e-commerce products from the new partners if all goes according to plan.

Yet another electronic server option, GENTRAN:Server for UNIX, is available from STERLING COMMERCE, INC. The Dublin, Ohio-based company already has lined up MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. as a customer. By March 1999, the electronics giant will install 90 servers to link and manage interactions among its global network of offices and factories, generating and tracking an estimated half-million orders and invoices a month. In time, MEI and affiliated companies expect to install GENTRAN:Server at more than 300 locations around the world.

ENGAGE TECHNOLOGIES has formed a company with SUMITOMO CORP. to promote the sale of its anonymous Web site visitor profiler package. The Andover, Massachusetts firm's product is unique, providing Web site administrators with profiles of visitors to their sites in real time. By yearend, the joint venture, in which Engage Technologies has a 49 percent interest, expects to be ready to offer local Webmasters subscriptions to a data base of Engage.Knowledge profiles compiled from visits to sites located in Japan. The new company also has exclusive distribution rights to all other Engage Technologies products. Earlier this year, Sumitomo invested $10 million in CMG INFORMATION SERVICES, INC., the parent of Engage Technologies as well as of ADSMART NETWORK CORP., another company with which the trader has a relationship (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 342, March 1998, p. 7 and p. 20).

With electronic commerce booming in Japan, demand for e-commerce security software is keeping pace. To capitalize on this sales opportunity, SECURITY DYNAMICS TECHNOLOGIES, INC. has signed up MARUBENI CORP. and HITACHI SOFTWARE ENGINEERING CO., LTD. to distribute and support its SecurID and ACE/Server products. The former issues and authenticates digital IDs, while the latter provides integrated firewall/security services. The two firms expect to sell $2.1 million worth of the Bedford, Massachusetts firm's products in the first year of marketing.

The demand for e-commerce security products continues to generate business for VERISIGN, INC. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 346, July 1998, p. 20). Its subsidiary's latest deals include agreements with DAIWA SECURITIES CO., LTD. and NETSCAPE COMMUNICATIONS CORP.'s affiliate for the Mountain View, California firm's digital ID certificate software and services. Daiwa Securities will secure its internal and external links around the world using VeriSign know-how, while Netscape will integrate the technology into its corporate and Internet portal products.

Meanwhile, VERISIGN, INC.'s subsidiary has begun to offer a localized version of the Secure Server digital ID software written for Unix-based Apache servers. Because Apache is freeware, it is catching on in Japan. VeriSign is offering its security services to Apache users for about $600 a year.

IBM JAPAN LTD. is offering an unusual Web software package that allows two users in different locations to view and navigate a Web page together. Contact Fusion permits both people to click on buttons and navigational features, watching the data that flows back at the same time. Priced from $212,800, the software may appeal to educators and training institutes.

Taking aim at the growing popularity of handheld Web surfing devices, SPYGLASS INC. is offering its downsized Prism 2.0 Web browser through INTERCOM CO., LTD. The Naperville, Illinois firm was an early commercializer of Web browser technology. Prism 2.0 is aimed at optimizing Web content for display on non-PC devices. The software dynamically translates richly formatted content like JPEGs, frames and Java applets for the relatively limited grayscale displays of handheld
devices.

MICROSOFT CORP.'s subsidiary has rolled out an updated version of its e- mail application, Outlook 98. The $125 or so package features a more user-friendly organization, stronger security and tighter integration with Windows 98.

Building on a previous relationship, INFORMATION RESOURCE ENGINEERING, INC. has signed a distribution deal with MITSUBISHI CORP. covering its IRE SafeNet virtual private network software. Earlier this year, Baltimore- headquartered IRE, the trader and ISP OSAKA MEDIA PORT CORP. agreed to explore issues related to Internet security. At that time, Mitsubishi committed to using SafeNet VPN products for its internal networking requirements (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 343, April 1998, p. 19). OMP already has implemented SafeNet and will roll out secure Internet access services this fall.

Top

The Java language continues to make headway in Japan. In the latest indication, SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC. licensed its JavaCard language to NEC CORP. for use in developing IC card readers, writers and related software. The electronics giant chose JavaCard for its inherent security features and portability. With the deal, NEC joined the JavaCard Forum, which is attempting to standardize technical specifications in the IC card field. Sun Microsystems and NEC signed a licensing agreement for the Java Application Environment in the spring of 1996. Since then, they have worked closely together on the programming language. TOSHIBA CORP. also is a JavaCard licensee.

In step with its parent, IBM JAPAN LTD. announced a new release of the VisualAge for Java application development environment. Version 2.0 has more features aimed at facilitating e-commerce software. The professional version, priced at $105, will be available at the end of September, while the one for enterprises, which costs $300, will come out in late November.

The subsidiary of PROGRESS SOFTWARE CORP. inked a nonexclusive pact with NETSERVE INC. to localize and distribute its integrated Internet application development and deployment system, Aptivity 2.1. The Bedford, Massachusetts company claims that Aptivity is the only Java- based integrated development environment that supports heterogeneous, Web-based, enterprise-level intranet and extranet applications. NetServe also will distribute the ProtoSpeed application debugging and monitoring tool. NISSHO IWAI CORP. and INES CORP. are minority partners in Progress Software's subsidiary.

Japanese wanting to learn the Java language can turn to JavaTutor, an interactive, self-paced program from SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC. Training modules are accessed through the Internet or an intranet. The basic module already is available in Japan for $495. At least two follow-on modules are planned.

Sales of MICROSOFT CORP.'s latest iteration of its PC operating system have outraced expectations and given a much-needed lift to the local PC market. Customers snapped up 250,000 copies of the Japanese-language version of Windows 98 in only two days after its July 25 debut. Just a month later, sales hit the 500,000 mark, a level that had not been expected for another two months. Sales of PCs with the new operating system preinstalled have jumped 20 percent to 30 percent in recent months above the same time last year.

As the amount of digital data skyrockets, IS managers at Unix shops likely will welcome a new memory management add-on from the local arms of HEWLETT-PACKARD CO. and EMC CORP. Melding Hopkinton, Massachusetts- based EMC's expertise in mass storage library systems with HP's knowledge of Unix and network operating systems, the two have developed a method of connecting up to 126 mass storage devices via a Fibre Channel network that is capable of handling a terabyte of data.

MERCURY INTERACTIVE CORP. and Tokyo-based INTERCOM CO., LTD. have adapted for Japan the Sunnyvale, California firm's software package that tests a company's computer system and other resources for problems with the Year 2000 date change. QuickTest 2000 creates a visual map of business processes and shows where problems may occur. The package includes test programs for various hardware and operating system combinations, easing the Y2K problem.

With firms of all sizes investing heavily in information technology, UNISYS CORP.'s operation has begun an IT appraisal service. By putting a value on a company's software, firms can realize profits when they sell these assets to a subsidiary. Paper transactions between a parent and its
subsidiaries are a commonly used accounting tactic in Japan. Unisys charges 0.15 percent of the market value of the software as a fee. It expects 10 companies a year to sign up for the service.

With networks proliferating in the workplace, the market for application servers and distributed application development tools has expanded sharply. HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. has rolled out the latest localized version of the HP OpenStudio development suite for building Unix applications in a Windows NT environment. The new product offers more tools for creating business applications.

UNIFY CORP. of San Jose, California has won a contract from TOYO INFORMATION SYSTEMS CO., LTD. to install its VISION AppServer and AppBuilder tools at the Tokyo firm's design studio. TIS engineers liked the ease with which VISION moved existing applications to the distributed environment of the Internet and because of its strong support for HTML and Java. Toyo Information is using VISION to shift its government building permit and inspection system to the Internet and to extranets. Existing TIS applications are deployed at 700 local government offices around Japan.

Top

A competing product from ENTERPRISELINK TECHNOLOGY INC. has received a vote of confidence from NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORP. In conjunction with ITOCHU TECHNO-SCIENCE CORP., the Campbell, California company's distributor, NTT will sell the SmartTran Host-to-Web application development and system integration suite through a preferred implementer agreement. Enter-priseLink will work with both firms to develop a comprehensive set of large-scale mainframe network solutions for local corporations. Itochu Techno-Science and its trading company parent provided venture funding for EnterpriseLink.

UNISYS CORP.'s operation has released a unique line of middleware based on its System Nu 3.2 transactional object request broker middleware (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 338, November 1997, p. 19). System Nu Light focuses mediation and interface tasks for smaller networks. Its pricing starts at $1,300. The System Nu MT.HA series targets the other end of the hardware spectrum and costs between $4,100 and $368,800.

Network managers have two new options for ensuring that critical messages and data get priority treatment. Assure QoS Server from networking giant CISCO SYSTEMS, INC. sports multiple traffic classes and service levels based on IP-assigned precedence, Layer 3 bandwidth control and allocation, and intelligent congestion avoidance and control policies. Pricing is based on a network's size and capacity, with each "unit" of QoS service costing $700. .....CHECK POINT SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGIES LTD.'s FloodGate-1 v1.1 uses an alternative method to deliver quality of service control: policy-based bandwidth management. The Redwood City, California firm's package dynamically manages the overall mix of network traffic, following rules set by the network manager. Check Point Software's subsidiary priced FloodGate-1 from $2,600 to $12,800.

With corporate Internet use growing exponentially, company IS managers are demanding tools to protect against Internet-borne computer viruses and other threats to their IT resources. The eSafe Protect Enterprise software family from Seattle's ESAFE TECHNOLOGIES, INC. can counter hostile Java applets and Active-X controls, computer viruses and vandals enclosed in e-mail messages, booby-trapped Web links, destructive browser plug-ins and Net-casted programs entering via push clients. eSafe Technologies' main distributor, ELIASHIM JAPAN K.K., chose Kawasaki- based CORE CORP. as the first sales channel for the software family. When released in October, pricing likely will range from $70 for a PC version to $25,500 for a 100-user client-server package. Core expects to sign up 100,000 users for eSafe Protect Enterprise the first year, with 2 million customers the three-year goal.

SECURE COMPUTING CORP. has chosen NET ONE SYSTEMS CO., LTD. as the exclusive distributor of its Sidewinder firewall software. Sidewinder employs the San Jose, California developer's patented Type Enforcement protocol, which secures the firewall's operating system and protects network services by segmenting them into individual domains. IS managers in Japan can test their networks for weak spots and monitor network security with two software products from SECURITY DYNAMICS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.'s subsidiary. Kane Security Analyst, priced at just over $1,000, conducts a rapid assessment of a network, analyzing six critical security areas. It can produce 30 types of reports for viewing the results. The $2,100 Kane Security Monitor provides 24-hour, real-time monitoring of Windows NT networks, giving special attention to sensitive users, workstations and files. The program automatically notifies network administrators of suspicious activity and produces easy-to-view reports of network security events.

HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. has released two network utilities for use under less stressful conditions. Written by GANYMEDE SOFTWARE, INC. of Morrisville, North Carolina, Chariot uses remote software agents to generate "real-world" application-layer traffic to evaluate network performance under varying conditions, such as when new applications are installed. HP Japan has priced this product at $13,500. Pegasus uses the same architecture as Chariot, but it monitors network activity in real time and alerts administrators to performance problems. HP Japan expects sales of the two utilities to hit $709,200 the first year. This past spring, HEWLETT-PACKARD CO. agreed to resell Ganymede's current Chariot and Pegasus products through its worldwide sales force.

Top

The local unit of NOVELL INC. has released three utilities for users of its NetWare and IntraNetWare network operating systems. StandbyServer Many-to-One manages a single standby server linked to several primary servers, mirroring key information and providing fall-over services when a primary server fails. SnapShotServer acts as an intelligent agent between network data resources and the backup server, allowing network administrators to take "pictures" of live volumes and files and then pass that information on to the backup server if desired. This allows backups to be conducted without taking network resources off-line. For its part, BorderManager provides defense against external and internal network hackers without paying a high performance penalty.

For the many users of its popular groupware, LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORP.'s subsidiary released version 2.0 of the Lotus Components productivity enhancers. Based on MICROSOFT CORP.'s Active-X technology, the components enhance the usability, programmability, security and data integration capabilities of Notes software. That, in turn, helps firms tailor Notes to meet their specific needs. The Lotus operation expects to sell 3,800 copies of the $26 add-on.

In the wake of the release of Windows Workstation 98, the local unit of SEAGATE SOFTWARE, INC. has revamped its Backup Exec utility to match. The $70 package works with the network operating system to safeguard the data resources of each network node.

SAGENT TECHNOLOGY, INC. has established a beachhead in Japan. First, the Palo Alto, California maker of turnkey, Web-based data marts established a wholly owned subsidiary. That Tokyo office then signed up KAWASAKI STEEL SYSTEMS R&D CORP. as a distributor, with other companies to be named later. Finally, a Japanese version of Sagent Data Mart Solution was released.

Not to be outdone, BRIO TECHNOLOGY, INC., also of Palo Alto, California, announced a localized version of its data warehouse/data mart package, Brio Enterprise 5.5. It is available in September through CANON SALES CO., INC. The Japanese version sports significant enhancements, including a new international version of Brio Enterprise OnDemand Server, location- specific translation, added support for conversion between Brio-supported operating systems, and improved date and currency formatting.

Answering this challenge from its competitors just down the road, the subsidiary of BROADBASE INFORMATION SYSTEMS, INC. of Menlo Park, California signed up six more systems integrators to promote its Broadbase v1.2 data mart server software (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 343, April 1998, p. 21). They include KYODO COMPUTER SERVICE CO., LTD., NEC CORP., NTT DATA CORP., NOMURA RESEARCH INSTITUTE, LTD. and the local office of PRICE WATERHOUSE LLP.

IT executives worried that data warehouse growth will run amok can turn to a new management package from SAS INSTITUTE INC. The Cary, North Carolina firm's SAS/Warehouse Administrator makes it easy to maintain and update the data warehousing process. It also allows heterogeneous data resources to be managed together, integrates and automates many data warehouse tasks, and ensures data integrity and reliability. A Japanese-language version of the software should be available by late September. SAS Institute's subsidiary priced it at $37,200. .....Separately, the Japan operation of SAS INSTITUTE INC. released a specialized data warehouse solution aimed at the medical industry. The SAS/PH-Clinical v2.0 package helps manage, analyze and present the mountains of data generated during clinical trials of new drug candidates. SAS Institute says that the package can cut the time needed to obtain regulatory approval for a new drug, saving pharmaceutical makers millions. A Japanese-language version of SAS/PH-Clinical will be out this fall at prices running from $141,800 to $227,000.

The Tokyo subsidiary of DUN & BRADSTREET CORP. has licensed its automatic data migration know-how to DENTSU INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION SERVICE CO., LTD. as a key component of the Japanese firm's new financial information systems integration business. D&B's Data Migration Service creates clean, up-to-date customer and supplier data from legacy sources, preparing the way for the introduction of new enterprise management solutions.

UNISYS CORP.'s subsidiary has released a program that performs multidimensional analyses of sales information stored in data warehouses. Sales Analyst Pro comes either as a stand-alone program for Windows NT systems or as an add-on to ORACLE CORP.'s data base products. The former version is priced at $113,500, while the latter costs $364,600. The company is very upbeat about the prospects for Sales Analyst Pro, projecting annual revenues of $35.5 million.

Top

Pleasanton, California-based DOCUMENTUM, INC. is strengthening efforts to build sales of its enterprise document management solution. In short order, the company established a subsidiary in Tokyo and tightened its links with ITOCHU TECHNO-SCIENCE CORP. That firm not only has sold Documentum's EDMS products for the last two years but helped localize the software. Recent customer wins include BANK OF TOKYO-MITSUBISHI, LTD., JGC CORP., MI-TSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD., SHIN-ETSU CHEMICAL CO., LTD., SUMITOMO CHEMICAL CO., LTD., SUMITOMO PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD. and YAMANOUCHI PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD.

INFORMIX SOFTWARE, INC. has landed a contract from the Tohoku Aoba Brain Imaging Research Center to install its Dynamic Server with Universal Data option. The Menlo Park, California company's data base server will store and manage the center's extensive library of brain- function images as well as support research into such diseases as Alzheimer's.

La Jolla, California-based VIRAGE, INC. has picked NICHIMEN DATA SYSTEMS CORP. to distribute its image search engine. Starting at $8,400 for a server and five clients, VIR Image Engine is available as an add-on to data bases from ORACLE CORP. and INFORMIX SOFTWARE, INC. as well as integrated with data bases from SYBASE, INC., OBJECT DESIGN, INC. and OBJECTIVITY, INC.

In the heated market for enterprise management software, PEOPLESOFT, INC. has scored a major coup by winning a contract from TOYOTA MOTOR CORP. Following the successful introduction and use of the Pleasanton, California firm's software at Toyota's American operations (see Japan- U.S. Business Report No. 340, January 1998, p. 7), the top Japanese automotive maker decided to adopt PeopleSoft's financial management solution at its home office. It hopes to complete the installation process by April next year.

COMPUTER ASSOCIATES INTERNATIONAL, INC. has countered with a fully localized version of its enterprise management suite, Unicenter TNG. The Islandia, New York firm's software appeals to local customers in part because the wide variety of modules available — including asset management, remote control, directory management and software distribution — are easily tailored to their needs. Unicenter TNG also integrates easily with legacy applications in heterogeneous environments. CA's subsidiary priced the localized Unicenter TNG at $16,300 and up. A Japanese version of Unicenter TNG Framework previously was released at no cost to users.

A new version of the Metaphase product data management package is available from STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS RESEARCH CORP.'s subsidiary. Metaphase Enterprise 3.0J not only is fully localized but incorporates many Web-savvy features that expand the flexibility and the accessibility of the Milford, Ohio company's system.

IBM JAPAN LTD. has expanded its electronic data interchange services, taking advantage of the Web's growing ubiquity. Smaller firms traditionally have hesitated to invest in EDI equipment because of its high cost and relatively narrow application. IBM Japan's IE/EX Web EDI Support service creates Web-based EDI sites and links them to its traditional EDI system. The costs of Web-based EDI thus are reduced to a monthly service charge. Moreover, the only equipment needed is a PC loaded with a Web browser connected to the Internet.

Keeping pace with the rapidly changing market for manufacturing execution systems, SL CORP. has taken greater control of its Japan operations. The Corte Madera, California firm bought a 70 percent stake in the division of GETZ BROS. CO., LTD. that had been in charge of sales of its MES graphics software since 1991 and turned this organization into a subsidiary. The new unit, in which Getz Bros. retains a 19 percent share, is focusing on promoting SL-GMS, a package specifically designed for creating highly interactive MES monitoring and control systems. SL hopes that the new organizational arrangement will boost Japan sales 50 percent to $3.2 million this year from $2.1 million in 1997 when it sold more than 500 SL-GMS licenses.

Sales force automation software maker DENDRITE INTERNATIONAL, INC. has signed up the third Japanese customer in six months for its Series 6 SFA solution. KISSEI PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD. joins TAKEDA CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES, LTD. and SANKYO/PARKE-DAVIS CO. as users of the state-of- the-art, Windows-based package. It has been tailored specifically for the drug market and for Japanese practices. The Morristown, New Jersey company has a fourth quarter deadline for installing Series 6 at Kissei's offices, where it will provide support and services for almost 800 people.

Top

A new enterprise-level edition of MICROGRAFX, INC.'s graphics products is now available from the Richardson, Texas company's local operation. The suite includes Designer 7, FlowCharter 7, Picture Publisher 7 and Simply 3D 2. It offers the tools needed to handle most corporate needs for graphics, including Internet/intranet content. The Micrografx Graphics Suite 2's pricing starts at $330 for a nine-user license.

AVID TECHNOLOGY, INC.'s subsidiary continues to add to its list of distributors. The latest is TOSHIBA ENGINEERING CORP. TEC will handle the Tewkesbury, Massachusetts firm's full line of nonlinear video editing packages, including MCXpress and MediaComposer (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 342, March 1998, p. 24).

As the complexity of PC software grows, the need for on-line help resources expands even faster. BLUE SKY SOFTWARE CORP.'s RoboHELP Office is aimed at creating help facilities for all applications that run under the Windows family of operating systems. Version 6 of the La Jolla, California firm's package is compatible with Windows 98. It is available through distributor XLSOFT K.K. at prices that start around $900.

RSA DATA SECURITY, INC. has licensed its cryptographic know-how to JUSTSYSTEM CORP. for incorporation into that firm's products. RSA technology will safeguard messages sent and received via the Secure Multipart Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) protocol and the Secure Sockets Layer protocol by JustSystem's Ichitaro word processor and other products.

The battle royal continues in the market for antivirus software. SYMANTEC CORP. has convinced IBM JAPAN LTD. to install its antivirus utility on every PC the computer maker produces, replacing IBM Japan's own utility. Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus package is widely accepted as a top-notch product. Moreover, IBM Japan's move frees it from having to provide constant updates and antidotes for the ever-changing list of viruses, a task turned over to Symantec. .....NETWORK ASSOCIATES, INC. riposted by signing up eight Japanese PC makers to bundle its VirusScan product on ev-ery machine that rolls off their production lines. The converts are: CANON SALES CO., INC., FUJITSU, LTD., HITACHI, LTD., NEC CORP., SEIKO EPSON CORP., SHARP CORP., SONY CORP. and TOSHIBA CORP. The announcement followed the launch of the Santa Clara, California company's Total Virus Defense suite in Japan (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 346, July 1998, p. 23).

Through its subsidiary, QUARTERDECK CORP. released localized versions of two of its PC utilities. REALHELP monitors and helps prevent PC crashes. If a crash does occur, it helps repair any damage. Partition-It Extra Strength not only formats and partitions hard drives quickly and easily, it allows multiple operating systems to be installed on a single PC. In the first year of marketing, the Marina del Rey, California firm's affiliate aims to sell 100,000 copies of REALHELP at $77 and 50,000 copies of Partition-It Extra Strength at $70.

Computer-aided design software maker AUTODESK, INC. has released several new products via its subsidiary. AutoCAD r4, priced at $5,700, and the $6,800 Mechanical DeskTop 2, the San Rafael, California firm's industrial-strength products, now come bundled with GENIUS mechanical design add-ons. These offer time-saving tools, easier modeling of 3D designs and other benefits. .....At the same time, AUTODESK, INC. is keeping tabs on the lower-end CAD market. AutoCAD LT 97 Network Version is meant for networked PCs. A single server/user license goes for about $900, and a five-seat license is set at $3,200.

A new mechanical design package from UNIGRAPHICS SOLUTIONS INC., an ELECTRONIC DATA SYSTEMS CORP. company (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 341, February 1998, p. 22), also is aimed at the middle of the market. Solid Edge v5 runs on Windows machines, with the new version providing greatly enhanced performance, integration and functionality. Unigraphics' subsidiary hopes to sell 2,000 units of the $7,700 package the first year.

STRUCTURAL RESEARCH & ANALYSIS CORP. has picked CADAM SYSTEMS CO., LTD. of Tokyo as the master distributor of its mechanical design analysis program, COSMOS/M. Initially available for CSC/MICROCADAM INC.'s Helix system, the analysis program also has interfaces for at least a dozen other CAD systems. CSC is Japan's top mechanical CAD developer. As part of the master distribution agreement, YOKOGAWA TECHNO-INFORMATION SERVICE INC. will provide pre- and post-sales support to resellers of Los Angeles SRAC's COSMOS/M.

Top

The latest version of AUTODESK, INC.'s 3D Studio VIZ is on the market. Release 2 combines the modeling, rendering and design-oriented features of the company's 3D Studio MAX with an array of tools optimized for architects, engineers, contractors and entertainment industry workers. The product dynamically integrates 3D visualizations of 2D and 3D designs created by AutoCAD. Autodesk's subsidiary priced the PC-based package at $695. It is aiming for sales of 10,000 copies in the initial year of marketing.

Another CAD visualization package comes from SILICON GRAPHICS, INC.'s local operation. OpenGL Optimizer API 1.1 works with the company's Irix operating system as well as with Windows, providing an object-oriented framework for building CAD/CAM, digital prototyping, digital content creation and virtual reality applications. It can be downloaded free from SGI's home page.

Electronic design automation powerhouse CADENCE DESIGN SYSTEMS, INC. has agreed to let TOSHIBA CORP. and FUJITSU, LTD. distribute its NC Verilog simulation software to their customers to hasten their IC design cycles. NC Verilog tests and verifies the performance of next-generation chip designs.

SAGANTEC tapped the distributor of CADENCE DESIGN SYSTEMS, INC.'s products — Yokohama-based INNOTECH CORP. — to handle its products, which complement Cadence's EDA lineup. The Milpitas, California firm's Design Rule Enforcement and Migration physical design migration package and its Companion accelerator for intellectual property and cell development work with Cadence's software to create deep submicron designs.

Eyeing the obvious need for more programmers, METROWERKS INC.'s subsidiary has released a new module in its learn-to-program series. CodeWarrior Discover Programming Edition 3 for Windows is available in a fully localized format for $200 or so. The package includes several books and tutorials on a CD-ROM that guide students step-by-step through basic exercises up to advanced one. In February, the Austin, Texas firm's operation released a Mac version.

Preparing for the next software distribution medium — DVDs — INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP. and NEC CORP. have joined forces to develop a "digital watermark" system to prevent unauthorized copying of digital content. The electronic watermark is invisible to the consumer but easily recognizable by DVD players. Both firms have considerable expertise in this area. IBM and NEC hope to integrate their respective electronic watermark technologies for motion pictures in 1999 and then to propose the system as an international standard. Later, they expect to extend the technology to digital satellite broadcasts and digital videocassette tapes.

An exchange rate of ¥141=$1.00 was used in this report.
aaaaaa

Top aaaaa Previous Issue aaaaa Next Issue aaaaa 1998 Index aaaa Home