IBM promises easy integration withlatest WebSphere app server

IBM put the WebSphere applications server at the centre of its software development and integration strategies when it unveiled...

IBM put the WebSphere applications server at the centre of its software development and integration strategies when it unveiled the latest version of the product at its developerWorksLive conference in San Francisco.

The company said that the WebSphere Version 5.0 can serve was intended to act as an integrated development environment that could span portals, application workflows, and wireless applications.

WebSphere Version 5.0 promises a complete Web services infrastructure that reportedly will make it easier for corporations to deploy Web services internally and to extend them externally to customers and business partners.

"We think this version will be all about helping to drive costs out from users' businesses as well as better integrating their tools, applications, and data across the breadth of an enterprise and outside of it," said John Swainson, general manager of IBM Software Group's applications and integration middleware business.

Another important feature for Web services is a built-in UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration)-supported directory that makes it easier for developers to register their newly created Web services, said Swainson.

One strength of Version 5.0, said IBM, was its ability to allow programmers to develop and deploy new applications faster with easier integration of Web services and existing applications in a logical flow that can be customised to map to business processes.

WebSphere 5.0 contains new support for Business Rule Beans, which make it possible for business analysts to update their business rules more dynamically without having to go through and hand-code individual application changes. This helps reduce labour costs involved in creating more efficient processes, company officials said.

Version 5.0 also supports all of J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) Version 1.3's interoperability features.

Stitched into Version 5.0 will be an embedded version of IBM's Tivoli Access Manager, which used to be called the Tivoli Policy Director. This will allow users to centralise their site-wide authentication and access control security into one repository that can then be fully extended across an infrastructure, said Robert LeBlanc, general manager of IBM's Tivoli Software group.

"Tivoli is gravitating towards WebSphere technology where it will be able to automate many of the system's management and security activities," LeBlanc said.

IBM also unveiled WebSphere Enterprise Modernisation tools to help corporate and third-party developers to reuse their existing software as part of an e-business alternative to writing a Web application from scratch. The new tools will also make it possible for existing applications to be part of a developing Web services model.

IBM rolled out WebSphere MQ Event Broker, designed to let businesses publish information to specific subscribers based on their individual profiles.

The company unveiled the WebSphere Business Integration 4.1, a product designed for business process integration enabling users to carry out a range of business tasks associated with CRM (customer relationship management) and enterprise resource process in real time.

Version 5.0, which is expected to go into limited beta testing by the end of this month, should be available sometime in June or July.

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