NEW YORK - Data Exchange Inc. is in the final stages of testing a personal computer-based investment portfolio management system using Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system.

The new system, WinDX, is scheduled for release at the end of January, and uses a processing technique called client-server computing that is being adopted at many banks.

Based in New York City, Data Exchange is no newcomer to the world of portfolio management products. The company's existing system, DX/V, runs in a Digital Equipment Corp. VAX environment using Sybase Inc.'s relational data base management system.

Hardware Requirements Cut

WinDX incorporates and enhances the functionality of the existing product while reducing the hardware requirements.

By leveraging Sybase server technology, WinDX provides a wide range of hardware choices for the component of the system.

In other words, whether a bank uses Sun Microsystems Inc. workstation or International Business Machine Corp. personal computers, it will be able to run WinDX.

"Because the PC on the user's desk shares processing tasks with the server, it helps us achieve near unlimited scalability with relatively modest hardware requirements," said Vince Cacciatore, a vice president at Data Exchange.

Operating in real time, the WinDX portfolio management system can link up to 200 portfolio managers, administrators, and traders to the same information.

Mr. Cacciatore said running the system in a Windows environment would improve customer support and reduce training time for new clients. He said Data Exchange is integrating more than 2,000 pages of tutorial and reference manuals into Windows' on-line help system.

The new system is targeted to firms with less than $1 billion under management. Existing Data Exchange clients will also have the option to port DX/V to WinDX.

Mr. Cacciatore said that before it developed the system, Data Exchange surveyed 200 users in its target market to determine their optimal platform requirements. "The overwhelming majority of the firms asked for PCs running Windows connected by a LAN to a Unix server," he said. "Our goal then is to directly meet their needs."

"We're eager for the Windows version to be introduced," said Donna Bryan, a manager of investment administration at People's Bank in Bridgeport, Conn. "It will make my life easier because so many of our existing applications use Windows."

Ms. Sullivan is a freelance writer based in New York.

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