IBM has introduced new features into its latest WebSphere Portal offering to speed up implementation and announced plans to integrate with Google’s Gadgets.
IBM has introduced new accelerators that are targeted at specific business applications like performance monitoring, HR management and expertise location.
The accelerators are really tailored portlet packages that provide portal users with enhanced interaction and editing of data through Ajax-based drag-and-drop and representational state transfer services (REST) technologies.
Both these so-called Web 2.0 technologies make the portal environment more responsive and user-friendly than traditional Web-based applications IBM said.
IBM has initially released two accelerators for: assembling performance dashboards that display catalogs of KPIs; team-based collaboration including setting up social networking environments around expertise profiles, blogs and wikis.
Three more accelerators will be rolled out later this year for: self-service applications for HR functions like new employee on-boarding, paycheck and tax viewing, and job transfers; building personalized websites, intranets and extranets; and advanced enterprise-class content, search, collaboration and dashboard management.
Customers have asked us for faster ways to deploy and extend portals directly supporting their business objectives, said Larry Bowden, vice president of portals and Web interaction services at Armonk, New York-based IBM.
That’s exactly what we are doing…we’re helping customers focus their efforts on business results by introducing a flexible set of accelerators and enabling easy application of Web 2.0 capabilities to their business initiatives.
IBM is also working on additional enhancements to its Portal platform that will allow companies to combine business data with Google’s new Gadgets – mini applications that work with Google’s home search page and Desktop or any Web page.
An IBM Portlet for Google Gadgets is expected sometime in the second half of 2007. IBM said it will allow users to integrate consumer-style web utilities into their corporate portal environment.
Bowden said that WebSphere’s support for web 2.0 technologies and its SOA design allows users to mash-up 5,000-odd portlets and services from IBM’s Portal Solutions Catalog. The customisation is powered by composite application templates, a drag and drop portlet palette and browser-based wiring tool.
He also pointed out that developers can take advantage of a new release of WebSphere Portlet Factory – a portlet development environment with out-of-the-box Ajax components for creating highly interactive Web browser-based applications.
IBM Websphere Portal Server is priced at $51,500 per processor.
The Dashboard Accelerator costs $67,000 per processor. The KPI Catalog is included at no charge for any licensed customers.
IBM is also offering WebSphere Portal Express Version 6.0, a collaborative portal solution for for mid-market firms or departments with less than 1,000 users. IBM is also selling an Express version as a single package that is flexibly priced from $2,300 for a 20-user pack, up to $39,999 per processor for extranet deployments.
The IBM Portlet for Google Gadgets will be offered as a no-charge feature of WebSphere Portal Server.