IBM Plays Up Collaboration in WebSphere Portal
IBM announced the strengthening of its WebSphere Portal offering Monday with the introduction of the 4.1 version of the software. The new version of WebSphere Portal, a key component of IBMs recently announced Dynamic Workplaces solution set, is focused particularly on collaboration. It allows users to create and reuse collaborative workplaces, such as whiteboards, information libraries, group calendars, bulletin boards and discussion groups. It also features a new technology called Collaborative Components that allows collaborative capabilities to be extended to any portlet.Users of the new version will be able to publish a portlet within WebSphere Portal as a Web service, IBM officials said. Web services are then published to a UDDI registry for access by other users.Security has also been enhanced in this version, thanks to the addition of encryption capabilities from IBMs Tivoli Access Manager. IBM is also providing an integrated offering of WebSphere Portal 4.1 with WebSphere Commerce 5.4. Other new capabilities include support for event and campaign management, and templates and workflow processes for content publishing. IBM also announced plans Monday to begin delivery of several new WebSphere Portal offerings in the second half of this year. Deliveries will include five new Portal Industry Editions, for financial services, insurance, distribution, public sector and wireless, plus a new version of WebSphere Portal for small and medium-sized businesses. In addition, IBM will expand WebSphere Portals platform coverage to include its eServer iSeries, eServer zSeries and Linux-based zSeries. The English language edition of Version 4.1 of WebSphere Portal is expected to be available for download on May 31 and generally available on June 26, with non-English, "natural language" editions available on July 25, IBM officials said.