Entera Legacy Middleware


Benefits of Entera

Entera was platform independent.
This has always been Entera’s biggest attraction.

It was not tied to any particular platform and the initial versions of Entera ran on widest range of vendor platforms: HP-UX, Solaris, AIX, Windows, VAX VMS, and Unisys. 

It also supports the major relational databases: Oracle, Sybase, DB2, Informix, SQLServer and EDA.


Entera enables Rapid Application Development and successfully hides the complexity present in every distributed system. This has always been Entera’s primary differentiator. Other systems may be just as secure, reliable and scalable. But none are as easy to get as up and running as Entera. Entera itself runs on top of DCE and TCP/IP sockets, but its goal has always been to hide application developers from these complex low-level API’s. One does not have to read a 300-page guide and manual to start programming with Entera, unlike similar middleware systems like CORBA, DCE, DCOM or even J2EE.

Entera means high-performance and scalability. Entera has always been written using native code, making use of the most advanced multi-threaded programming features currently available. Right from the start, it also load-balancing features inherent to its name services and core runtime implementation.

Entera is reliable and fault-tolerant. Entera’s load-balancing capabilities, accomplished through “server-clustering,” also enable it to support fault-tolerance. One of Entera’s first demos was always to “pull the plug” on a server machine and watch it’s clients transparently go to the next server machine on the next request.

Entera is secure. Through its support of advanced DCE security, to its extensibility in being able to support any independent GSS API provider, Entera has always had security built-in.

Entera enables RAD data server development. One of Entera’s most popular features is its dynamic data server access, and Entera/FX. These enable SQL calls to be abstracted as RPC method calls through simple text files. It was a precursor to and a simpler implementation of EJB’s container-managed persistence (CMP), except that it wasn’t so complex as CMP that most developers actually used it. (Most surveys find that less than 20% of J2EE users actually bother to use CMP.) This feature enabled business logic developers to concentrate on functionality and not have to learn the native DBMS API.

Entera enables comprehensive access from best-of-breed client platforms. The list of supported Entera client languages is as comprehensive as they come: Visual Basic, PowerBuilder, Delphi, C,/C++, Java, Perl, Smalltalk.


Entera Evolution to NXTera

NXTera is eCube’s contemporary evolution of the Entera platform. It is designed to provide operational update to legacy Entera applications. NXTera delivers improvements in performance, operating system and database support for Entera users.

NXTera benefits from eCube’s deep understanding of Entera internals. Based on that understanding and Entera customer feedback, eCube has identified the functionality, performance and support issues that place greatest limits on Entera’s usability and extensibility. With this information, eCube was able to re-engineer and improve targeted portions of the base Entera platform. These changes, implemented in NXTera, range from ports to new platforms, to simple Entera bug fixes, from adding new data handling features, to the complete re-engineering of some Entera modules. The following review the most important changes made to the legacy code base inn NXTera: Data Handling and Manipulation

eCube’s engineers completely re-engineered Entera Data access, transport and parsing modules for Oracle, Sybase and DB2. The outcome was more pro-formant and flexible data access that ready to meet today’s high throughput requirements. Some user saw a 42% increase in data-centric processing over Entera.

Entera Memory Management

Over time application usage has a way of increasing and exceeding original expectations. Mergers, regulatory changes and increased usage can place stress on legacy Entera systems and their managers. NXTera has addressed these performance issues by re-engineering Entera memory management and the hash table architecture of the Entera runtime.

The combined benefits of the work described below can be seen in these results derived NXTera /Entera comparative tests performed by multiple customers.


NXTera / Entera Implementation

NXTera is source code compatible with Entera, that means individual portions for an existing Entera infrastructure may be updated independently of others. For instance, the data access portion of a system can be updated with out changing the client or server runtimes. (See Figure 1:) The same is true when a user decides to update the server runtime and data access portion and not change the client.

NXTera’s new development tools help you to build high-speed service-base applications without worrying about the communications routines that link them together. Business applications developed using Entera operate independently of the underlying network infrastructure. NXTera helps you rapidly develop open, scalable, three-tiered client/server applications and, at the same time, insulates you from the distributed computing infrastructure. You can develop your server applications using the languages and tools you are accustomed to using—languages like Fortran, Pascal, PL/1, C, C++ , Delphi, COBOL, Visual Basic, and PowerBuilder. However, even when the Entera client needs to be updated NXTera provides simple source code upgrades that lower the cost of updating these systems. The system usually only requires an installation, recompilation and distribution.

Here is a list of newly supported platforms for the client, server and data implementations and the source files that have been modified:

Client Support and File Modifications

Server Support and File Modifications

Server Support and File Modifications


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