CEBIT: Software vendors refresh products

It was inevitable that moving all the software exhibitors at CEBIT to halls down the east side of the Hanover showground would...

It was inevitable that moving all the software exhibitors at CEBIT to halls down the east side of the Hanover showground would leave visitors disoriented. But this improvement in the show's organisation - a kind of CeBIT 2.0, if you will - is easy to adapt to. Incremental change was what the software halls were all about, with many companies choosing CeBIT as the venue for a refresh of their key software products.

File and configuration management
Novell and Check Point Software Technologies both focused on software for personal digital assistants. Check Point bundled a personal firewall for devices running the latest version of Microsoft's PDA software with secure remote access and centralised software management tools in its VPN-1 SecureClient for Microsoft Pocket PC 2002 and Handheld PC 2002. Novell introduced the cross-platform ZenWorks for Handhelds 4.7, which will allow IS managers to manage and update applications centrally on devices running Palm OS, Windows CE and Pocket PC software.

Novell also updated its iFolder file synchronisation and management package, which is now accessible from PDAs via a Web interface. The latest version, iFolder Professional Edition 2, is also available in a highly scalable version for service providers, who can use it to present multiple servers as a single service supporting millions of users, the company said.

Web services and electronic commerce
Ilog released the latest version of its business rules engine, JRules 4.0, at the show. The update adds a business rule repository - a central location for storing rules and related information - and support for handling time-oriented rules. The contents of the repository can be customised, but for those looking for a simpler approach, the system includes even more rule templates than before. JRules 4.0 is a Java-based system that can be embedded in Web services across a variety of application server platforms.

i2 Technologies added inventory visibility and exception management functions to its established Five.Two value-chain management software. The company said these would enable users to cut costs by reducing inventory.

There were no new products from Intershop Communications, but a partnership with T-Systems International, a division of Deutsche Telekom. The deal allows them to offer large international corporations a range of software including Intershop's Enfinity e-commerce server, and services such as web hosting and consulting.

Imperia, a maker of Web publishing software, introduced features and partner plug-ins for its flagship product, Imperia 6.

Staff demonstrated one such plug-in, called uCrop, which allows Web site editors to make changes to images in standard formats such as .JPG inside the Web publishing template, without having to use a separate image editing program. One Imperia client, Suddeutsche Zeitung, uses the plug-in to post photos from a news agency feed directly to its online edition.

Other plug-ins include a spell checker, a memo/reminder function, and an "escalation" plug-in that automatically reroutes articles from one editor to another when it detects that a worker is overloaded.

Digital World Services, a subsidiary of the Bertelsmann media empire, introduced digital rights management software for wireless networks. ADo²RA-System can manage music, mobile phone ring tones, text, graphics, software, games and videos on PCs, PDAs and phones. Grouped around the central Rights Locker component, other modules add account management, data reporting, catalogue and packaging functions.

Finally, InterSystems showed Siteforum Europe AG's Interactive Business Portals, running on its Caché 4 database platform. Interactive Business Portals allows management of content and administration of Web-based business processes, rigorously separating the two, the companies said.

CeBIT finishes tomorrow..

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