SAN FRANCISCO--IBM executives on Wednesday talked up the need for open standards-based integration across all applications and platforms while, at the same time, announcing a host of new product offerings.
As expected, Steve Mills, a senior vice president and group executive of IBMs software group, used his keynote address at the companys annual technical developer conference, developerWorks Live, here to stress the importance of open standards and Web services in the business and IT environments of the future.
"Web services and XML, and all the benefits they bring to the business environment, are all about the evolution of standards toward the goal of true interoperability. Open standards are what IBM is all about.
"We are a heterogeneous provider of hardware and software products that run across a wide range of platforms, and open standards are key to continuing to evolve that model--a model that businesses around the world want and need," he said.
Legacy applications need to be maintained and reused and cannot be simply ripped out and replaced. That means that all of the existing models have to co-exist, and open standards make this possible by providing the framework and standards that make them all work together. "The infrastructure we provide is what distinguishes IBM from its competitors," Mills said.
In his keynote address this morning, John Swainson, IBMs general manager of applications and integration middleware, announced that WebSphere Application Server Version 5.0 will be available within the next few weeks.
"This latest version brings far greater flexibility in the way customers can deploy it, from single to clustered environments--and gives much greater functionality in a set of packages and price points that we feel customers will find most attractive," he said.
The product also supports the latest version of Java 2 Enterprise Edition, the Java standard for business software, and offers built-in support for Web services standards, Swainson said.
In the business integration arena, Swainson announced WebSphere Event Broker Version 2.1 and WebSphere Business Integrator Version 4.1, which will be available before the end of June.