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IBM WebSphere software products Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, hyper filter, Timothée Bensimon

Related Topics: RIA Developer's Journal, Java EE Journal, SOA & WOA Magazine, AJAX World RIA Conference, WebSphere

RIA & Ajax: Article

WebSphere News Round-Up

WebSphere News Round-Up

IBM WebSphere Portal 6.0 Addresses Composite Apps
Part of Extended SOA Strategy from Big Blue

IBM will be upgrading its IBM WebSphere Portal, making it easier to work with composite applications, making it faster and easier for businesses to realize the benefits of integrated applications and reusable services, and integrating it with technology it acquired from its Bowstreet acquisition in late 2005.

"Working with composite applications no longer has to be time consuming and difficult," said Ken Bisconti, vice-president, IBM workplace, portal and collaboration products. "In WebSphere Portal Version 6.0 we are introducing a new application framework that empowers customers to easily assemble applications and process components in a way that best meets their needs."

The latest version of WebSphere Portal, which IBM expects to have available for Linux, AIX, HP, Microsoft Windows, i5OS, and Sun in the third quarter this year, includes a workflow builder, enabling business process owners to create and modify departmental workflows to meet their needs. Users see only the tasks assigned to them along with relevant information from across the company.

WebSphere Portal 6.0 will integrate with the advanced electronic forms capabilities of IBM Workplace Forms. Electronic forms are presented in a standard portal interface, enabling users to easily access information from other applications and collaborate to create, edit, or view electronic forms. Once completed, the e-form can be automatically routed to the next person in the process or stored in a repository, according to IBM.

The latest version of WebSphere Portal also includes IBM Workplace Web Content Management Version 6.0, which aims to simplify the creation process with enhanced rich text editors and inline authoring capability. For administrators, enhancements include a joint administrator's console for WebSphere Portal and Workplace Web Content Management, template customization, and support for Cascading Style Sheets.

IBM says it is now closely aligning WebSphere Portal with WebSphere Portlet Factory. Obtained from its December 2005 acquisition of Bowstreet, WebSphere Portlet Factory is a comprehensive portlet development environment that automates the process of creating, deploying, and maintaining SOA-based portlets.

With WebSphere Portlet Factory, developers can quickly draw on their company's existing applications to create portlets that become the building blocks for composite applications. Once composite applications are created, WebSphere Portal Version 6.0 lets users save them as templates. As templates, composite applications can be deployed as is or customized for different groups while maintaining the integrity of the application. In addition, if business conditions change users can quickly modify the template to reflect the new conditions.

IBM Offers SOA Web Services "Entry Points"Complex SOA Strategy Announced
IBM has announced new software and services as part of its ongoing SOA strategy. The new software is based on IBM's experience with an estimated 1,800 SOA customer engagements in companies of all sizes across all industries.

"An SOA plays a strategic role in any company - from a retailer to a car manufacturer to a financial institution - because it enables people to collaborate and innovate, identify new business opportunities, and move the customers' needs to the forefront," said Steve Mills, senior vice-president and group executive, IBM Software Group.

The company has identified five entry points to enable customers to more easily approach and initiate an SOA project. These entry points include people-, process-, and information-centric approaches as well as connectivity and the ability to reuse existing assets. Four new software releases target these SOA starting points and are complemented by a set of industry-specific models to support SOA. IBM is also announcing new SOA services.

IBM showcased The Pep Boys and Harley-Davidson at its announcement, with executives from both companies explaining how they're integrating IBM-based SOA architectures into their businesses. IBM executives, in response to a question from SOA Web Services Journal, said that companies as small as about $100 million in revenue can take advantage of the new offerings in its SOA offerings.

For supporting a people-centric approach to SOA, WebSphere Portal 6.0 integrates IBM Workplace and collaborative technologies, making it easier for users to build and deploy composite applications that can be tailored by industry, role, or task. The new release takes advantage of AJAX, IBM says, "to create a more responsive user environment. The latest version also provides a workflow builder that uses the process engine from WebSphere Process Server, open standards-based software powered by the WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) that helps simplify the integration of business processes."

To improve business visibility and deliver a process-centric approach to SOA, IBM announced WebSphere Business Monitor version 6.0. This software provides an aerial view of a business and enables customers to proactively identify potential issues before they impact productivity, the company says.

New features in WebSphere Business Monitor include business alerts, links to third-party reports that combine real-time performance and historical analysis, and scorecards to track the status and metrics of projects. For example, the software lets a business user create an automated alert signaling each time a competitor makes a market-shifting move. The alert could be integrated with third-party research, customer feedback, and recommended next steps that could help minimize the impact of a competitor's move on the market.

For an information-centric approach to SOA, IBM is delivering industry-specific models to help clients successfully launch their SOA initiatives. The enhanced IBM Banking Information FrameWork and IBM Insurance Application Architecture models provide a set of critical processes, workflows, and activities to help organizations re-engineer their business processes to implement strategic initiatives such as master data management. These IBM models, methodologies, and services bring together key components to provide a single view of customer information, thereby enabling a successful SOA and enterprise master data management strategy.

Reuse capabilities are among the most highly sought after requirements in building an SOA because reuse can be up to five times less expensive than writing new applications. IBM's new software that focuses on enabling reuse and easier SOA management is WebSphere Application Server version 6.1 and WebSphere Commerce version 6.0.

IBM Global Services is also strengthening its SOA capabilities with new services designed for the successful creation of an SOA throughout its lifecycle - model, assemble, deploy, manage - while ensuring that customers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to independently extend an SOA. These new services help customers with readiness, implementation, and management of an SOA.

The services include the Infrastructure Services Readiness Engagement for SOA to help assess and ensure that the customers' infrastructure is prepared to undergo an SOA creation. Next are additional IBM Design and Implementation Services for SOA including support for WebSphere middleware, DataPower appliances, and Tivoli management and security for SOA. For management, IBM now offers the IT Service Management Design for SOA, IBM Performance Management Testing for SOA, and the SOA Business Dashboard and new maintenance services for SOA.

More Stories By WebSphere News Desk

WebSphere Journal News Desk trawls the world of e-commerce technologies for news and innovations and presents IT professionals with updates on technology trends, products, and services in the WebSphere family.

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