Iona adds final pieces to e-business platform

Iona Technologies today introduced what it is calling the finishing touches to its e-business platform, at the company's Iona...

Iona Technologies today introduced what it is calling the finishing touches to its e-business platform, at the company's Iona World 2001 annual user conference in Florida.

Dublin-based Iona took advantage of its user group as a canvas to introduce an integration environment and a toolkit for building Web services.

"With these products we've pretty much rounded out the e-business platform we've been talking about," said Don Roedner, Iona's director of product marketing.

The two new products are iPortal Integrator and iPortal XMLBus.

Iona refers to iPortal Integrator as a J2EE and XML-based enterprise integration environment that can be used to integrate and automate internal systems and processes. Further, the integrator can be used to expose internal systems to partners, suppliers, and customers.

The other product Iona announced today is iPortal XMLBus, a technology preview of an XML-based toolkit that can be used to build and deliver Web services, according to Rebecca Dias, Iona's product manager for iPortal XMLBus.

By supporting the de facto Web services standards, XML, simple object access protocol (SOAP), universal description, discovery and integration (UDDI), and Web services description language (WSDL), the development environment allows developers to expose their infrastructures to partners as well as to access partners' Web services-enabled applications, according to the company.

Furthering its reach, iPortal XMLBus supports Iona's own iPortal Application Server, Version 1.3 and BEA Weblogic, Version 6.

Analysts said that the application server stack is becoming increasingly important as companies move toward a Web services architecture.

"Web services is the technology that allows the Internet to be a programmable medium," said Mike Gilpin, an analyst at Giga Information Group.

Gilpin continued, however, that although application server stacks garner quite a bit of attention as enablers of Web services, there are other uses for them, including for mobile, call centre, and Web infrastructures.

While Iona built these latest pieces itself, the company picked up other technologies along the way, including business-to-business integration from the February acquisition of Netfish Technologies. Dias said that the Netfish acquisition will most likely close at the end of May.

Although Iona is saying the foundation pieces of the e-business platform are all in place, it will continue to evolve.

"Over time, we will put more and more into the app server," Dias said, including security and integration with XML interfaces.

Tom Sullivan

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