Plumtree grows beyond portal roots

Plumtree Software will extend its reach into web application building and management with the introduction of an integrated suite...

Plumtree Software will extend its reach into web application building and management with the introduction of an integrated suite and a set of developer tools.

The Plumtree Enterprise Web Suite combines versions of the portal, search, collaboration and content-management products into one offering designed to provide a framework for creating, managing, and delivering web applications.

Plumtree has transformed "from a general purpose portal that lets you secure different items to infrastructure for running different web applications, each of which has a totally different brand, different manager, different security," said Glenn Kelman, Plumtree's vice-president of product management and marketing.

Plumtree is also trying to redefine itself in the wake of massive consolidation in the portal market combined with continuing pressure from infrastructure suppliers such as IBM, BEA Systems and, increasingly, Microsoft, according to Jim Murphy, senior analyst at AMR Research.

"Plumtree is keeping an eye on infrastructure providers which are providing portal frameworks based on application servers, and looking at being more complete and best-of-breed than IBM and BEA," Murphy said.

BEA Systems plans to add web- and content-integration software from third-party Kapow into its WebLogic Portal. IBM plans to bundle office productivity applications, such as text editing and spreadsheet, in WebSphere Portal Server in the second quarter .

Microsoft, for its part, plans to introduce the next version of SharePoint Portal Server 2003, due in the second half of the year, with collaboration capabilities.

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