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MKS Makes Unix Migration An Easy Task

With the introduction of PC-based operating systems in the mid-1980s, Unix developers needed a way to port Unix utilities and emulated shells into DOS, and later, Microsoft Windows environments. The MKS Toolkit was developed to handle that task, and the utility has been invaluable ever since, giving developers the ability to run powerful Unix tools in any native Windows environment.


MKS supports various Make programs, giving users a choice between GMake, NMake and MKS Make.

When Windows NT was introduced in the mid-1990s, MKS rolled out the Nutcracker tool, designed to port code to Windows from Unix. Today, Nutcracker's functionality is a standard part of the MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers. Nutcracker can integrate with Microsoft Visual C++ or can be run from the command line using the GNU GCC compiler.

The MKS Enterprise Developer edition includes the necessary tools for migrating code from a Unix enterprise application to a Windows environment using either C or C++ as the programming language. MKS offers multiple ways to compile code, unlike other similar toolkits such as Cygwin, a Linux-like program that also can run within Windows. MKS also supports multiple Make programs, giving users developing and compiling code for applications a choice between GMake, NMake and MKS' own MKS Make.

MKS also offers tools to help programmers check their code for errors. By integrating with the Visual Studio C++ compiler, MKS provides a powerful mechanism for debugging code visually. What's more, Windows C++ code can be written using the MKS Unix libraries, making an application written in C++ interoperable between the two operating systems. Applications using Motif, the standard Unix GUI, also will run under MKS' Enterprise Developer toolkit, since the product includes an X server for displaying X Windows graphical interfaces.

MKS Toolkit 8.7 includes many new utilities that provide even more interoperability between Windows and Unix operating systems. The Visual Secure FTP utility, for instance, uses a Unix-style interface and command-line accessibility that works in a native Windows Explorer interface simultaneously. This utility is built as an extension to Windows Explorer for easy file manipulation. Visual Secure FTP gives Windows system administrators the ability to securely drag and drop files across multiple platforms. The tool will also appeal to Unix developers who would rather work at the command line. Other command-line tools include the ability to access the Windows registry and to access the settings for multiple users and groups.

MKS offers an extensive online knowledge base as well as technical phone support to volume customers. The product is well-documented, making it simple for non-Unix developers to learn most tools in as little as a few days.

In addition, MKS offers the opportunity for solution providers with migration expertise and extensive sales experience to support their own customers. Four complimentary hours of migration assistance are available as part of the company's channel program. MKS also provides co-op marketing support, co-marketing dollars, sales training, pre- and post-sales support and lead generation to partners.

MKS Enterprise Developer Toolkit 8.7 costs $5,000 for the kit and $180 per runtime license. The average reseller margin is 30 percent.


Fairfax, Va.
(703) 803-3343
DISTRIBUTORS: Direct from vendor


Note: Vendors can earn up to five stars for technical merit and five for their channel program. If the average of these two scores is four stars or greater, the product earns CRN Test Center Recommended status.

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