FaceTime Extends IM to Oracle Portal

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2003-09-09 Print this article Print

The IM Presence Manager toolkit lets companies add messaging features to enterprise portals.

SAN FRANCISCO—FaceTime Communications Inc. on Monday delivered its instant-messaging presence technology for Oracle Corp.s Application Server Portal. The IM Presence Manager toolkit, which FaceTime shipped at OracleWorld here, lets companies integrate IM features within enterprise portals so that portal users can identify and connect with other users online.
The Oracle support is part of a broader push to add IM capabilities to portals. Little more than a month ago, FaceTime, of Foster City, Calif., announced the integration of IM Presence Manager with BEA System Inc.s WebLogic Platform 8.1 and WebLogic Portal 8.1. It also is in discussions with other major enterprise portal vendors, said Rahul Abhyankar, FaceTime senior product manager.
IM Presence Manager allows users to connect through an enterprise portal regardless of the IM network or platform being used. Thats because it supports the largest commercial IM networks—AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. By the end of the year, FaceTime also expects to support the largest enterprise IM platforms, such as Microsoft Corp.s forthcoming Live Communications Server and IBM Corp.s Lotus Instant Messaging, as part of a new IM Presence Manager release, Abhyankar said. Using IM Presence Manager, developers can add portlets within an enterprise portal that provide presence information about individuals or workgroups and then allow the parties to communicate in real time. Portal users, for example, could detect whether the author of a corporate document is online as they conduct a search of documents or could connect with an HR administrator as they look up benefits information. Such ability supports a concept being termed "contextual collaboration." "You dont need to have them on a buddy list or know what IM networks theyre using," Abhyankar said. "When you have questions, you see the presence information on the person or group, click on the link and a browser pops up." Pricing for IM Presence Manager is based on both the number of servers where it is deployed and on the number of registered users. The per-server license runs between $20,000 and $30,000 while the per-user license varies widely depending on the volume, Abhyankar said.
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for eWEEK.com, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for eWEEK.com. Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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