Unisys moves mainframe into .NET, Java age

Unisys Corp. moved to keep its Sperry-Burroughs roots alive with the unveiling of a new mainframe it has pushed into the new generation and that includes support for .NET and Java.

Observers said the new system should boost Unisys in its mainframe competition with IBM, which has long supported Java on its high-end systems.

The new ClearPath Plus Libra 185 mainframe system also incorporates middleware technology to support interoperability with applications on other platforms such as Java and .NET, according to Diane McGonigle, senior marketing manager of strategic software in the firm's Malvern, Pa., office.

ClearPath Plus Libra 185 also includes expanded Web services support for XML, SOAP, UDDI and other standard specifications. The ability to wrap legacy applications with existing Web services allows enterprises to integrate existing systems with .NET and J2EE-based application components, as well as pre-packaged applications from independent software vendors, said Unisys officials.

Meanwhile, Unisys has disclosed plans to add .NET and J2EE support to the Enterprise Application Environment (EAE) application development toolset by the end of next year. "We feel that we need to offer our customers a way to continue to take advantage of their legacy applications" built using the EAE toolset, said McGonigle. The EAE package can define business processes, automatically generate complete applications to support those processes, and then deploy the applications throughout the infrastructure. "This provides a single toolset to build components that run with ClearPath and, at the same time, [do] builds for .NET or J2EE," she added.

Pricing for ClearPath Plus Libra 185 ranges from $1.1 million to $22.4 million, said officials. The systems are now shipping.

About the Author

Lana Gates is a freelance writer based in Mesa, Arizona. She can be reached via e-mail at


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