Association News


UniForum expands its publishing efforts to serve open systems professionals better in 1996.

IT Solutions Debuts Next Month

Next month, you won't receive your usual issue of UniForum Monthly. In fact, you'll never receive another copy of the magazine by that name. Instead, as of February you'll start receiving a new monthly called IT Solutions: Open Technologies for the Enterprise.

When you open that new magazine, you'll find it in many ways as familiar as UniForum Monthly. Its content still focuses on issues, strategies, new technologies, and user examples of immediate help to open systems professionals in doing their jobs. However, in addition to its new name, IT Solutions will have a new design and some new editorial matter.

According to Dick Shippee, UniForum director of publications, the change is the result of changing times, both at the magazine and throughout the industry. "The UniForum Association Board of Directors decided the new name better reflects our growing readership, as well as the evolving qualities of what open technology has come to represent over the past several years," he says.

Like everyone else in the industry, UniForum recognizes that, although Unix remains a major part of open systems technology, it has been joined by elements such as TCP/IP, the Internet, the X Window System, object technology, and others based on shared industry standards. Although UniForum Monthly is a familiar name to thousands of IT professionals, we feel that it does not indicate what open systems is all about these days.

Nor does it reflect the growing readership of the magazine. Originally, UniForum readership was limited essentially to members of the association. A new trial membership program begun in 1995 has increased circulation dramatically, which will reach 50,000 this month. "We are now reaching a much broader segment of the industry," says Shippee, "including many professionals who are not necessarily general members of UniForum but who would like to learn more about open systems technologies."

These changes don't mean that the magazine will have a different point of view. As before, it will have a clearly stated preference for open technology as the model for enterprise computing. Our articles will cover an even fuller range of multivendor, cross-platform environments.

As well as a more readable, more visually attractive design, IT Solutions will offer insightful new columns. One such column, "The Analyst's Couch," will feature a leading market and technology analyst offering his or her lively insights on the industry. They will discuss candidly what's driving them crazy or making them happy, and we expect more than a few balloons to be punctured in the process.

Another column, "Dealing with Client/Server," directly addresses one of the central topics we cover. The column, which debuts this month on page 50, will focus on strategies for client/server purchasing, implementation, and management, with a healthy dose of caution about the real-world requirements of staffing, retraining, and practical use.

In short, you'll find IT Solutions to be more of the same as its predecessor--only bigger, better, and broader in scope. "The new format is an invitation for anyone with an interest in open computing to learn more about what's really going on in the industry today," Shippee says.

Introducing UniForum Press

As if a new name and design for our magazine weren't enough, UniForum also announces the creation of UniForum Press, a new publishing alliance with Prentice Hall's Professional, Technical, and Reference (PTR) unit. The press will produce substantive books to complement and expand on the technical overviews and white papers UniForum has traditionally published. The present series of technical overviews will continue, and UniForum members may buy all UniForum Press titles at significant discounts.

UniForum is excited to join forces with the world's leading publisher of books on open systems technology. Prentice Hall PTR will market UniForum Press books through its retail, catalog, book club, university, and subsidiary rights outlets. Together we will also explore ways to preview titles and update books through the Internet and the World-Wide Web.

Logan Campbell, president of Prentice Hall PTR, is optimistic about the venture, stating that his press and UniForum bring together "unique resources, publishing excellence, and technical expertise that will result in books and products designed to take open systems professionals into the next century."

The press will offer three series of books that will explore open technology topics at different levels of detail. The first series will be pocket guides of approximately 150 pages, covering the basics on topics such as the World-Wide Web, data warehousing, or groupware.

The second series, Principles to Practice, will examine ideas in greater detail and provide specific information that IS professionals and users they need to do their jobs effectively. These guides may cover topics introduced by the pocket guide series or other areas of interest such as software quality or system security.

The third series will be state-of-the-art, comprehensive references that deliver detailed, systematic treatments on issues that may include such areas as software architectures or object reuse.

Anthony I. "Tony" Wasserman, founder and chairman of software tools vendor Interactive Development Environments (IDE), will be the first UniForum Press editor-in-chief. Wasserman has over 20 years of experience in Unix and open systems, as well as an impressive background of academic, publishing, and business achievement. Prior to starting IDE, he was on the faculty of the University of California and has consulted for a range of industry-leading companies.

Wasserman believes that UniForum Press can create publications that bridge the gap between general theory and product specifics, helping IS professionals understand the principles of technology better and deal with vendors more knowledgeably.

UniForum traditionally has been at the center of open systems. UniForum counts among its sponsors and members the most important companies and technical innovators in the industry, including the people who invented object technology, coined the term client/server, developed some of the first applications in virtual reality and multimedia, and created Unix itself. Says Wasserman, "This is a tremendous opportunity to publish books that no other publishers could bring to the market as well or as quickly."

UniForum anticipates that the publishing venture will be of tremendous benefit to all members. Press books will allow professionals to take back to the job the skills and education they need and can use right away. Books will receive full editorial review by both the UniForum Technical Steering Committee and independent reviewers hired by Prentice Hall PTR and UniForum.

A list of topics forthcoming from the press will be unveiled at the UniForum '96 Conference in February. UniForum Press expects to bring out five to 10 titles during 1996. Information on how members can order UniForum Press titles at a discount will soon be available on UniForum's home page: URL