IBM holds back release of WebSphere 5.0

IBM has pushed back the release date for its WebSphere version 5.0 application server, saying it "reprioritised" its schedule in...

IBM has pushed back the release date for its WebSphere version 5.0 application server, saying it "reprioritised" its schedule in order to bring related development tools to market more quickly.

IBM said that it would deliver WebSphere Application Server Version 5.0 by the end of September. IBM now expects to deliver the new product by the end of November, said IBM spokesman Steven Eisenstadt.

IBM pitched the product as an integrated development environment that can span portals, application workflows and wireless applications. It will also support version 1.3 of the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) standard and other enhancements intended to make it easier to build and deploy Web services.

Eisenstadt said customers were keen to get a corresponding upgrade to IBM's WebSphere Studio tools so it decided to adjust its delivery schedule and get that product out first.

The latest version of WebSphere Studio tools will be released in September, including a beta version of the new application server runtime. General availability for WebSphere Application Server Version 5.0 is now scheduled for 30 to 60 days after that, Eisenstadt said.

Mike Gilpin, researcher with Giga Information Group, said IBM wants to emphasise ease of development by delivering the tools upgrade first. It is also possible that the WebSphere team needed more time to test and debug the product across multiple platforms, he added.

WebSphere 5.0 is IBM's response to WebLogic Application Server 7.0, released earlier this year by IBM rival BEA Systems. Both products include support for J2EE 1.3, as well as new integration, portal and Web services capabilities.

The slight delay on IBM's part could influence some customers who are weighing up the two products, Gilpin said. However, he noted that enterprises are often too cautious to adopt new products as soon as they are released unless there is a feature they are particularly keen to get hold of.

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