Sun to Distribute iWay Adapters for Integration

Sun will distribute the adapters to integrate its systems with other environments; iWay president says packaged integrator processes will be key in the future.

NEW ORLEANS—Information Builders Inc.s iWay Software subsidiary is hammering out a deal with Sun Microsystems Inc. under which Sun will distribute iWay adapters to integrate Sun systems with other environments.

"They decided to OEM iWay adapter technology as part of the Sun integration solution," said iWay president John Senor, explaining that iWay optimized a package of some 25 adapters written in J2EE to work with Suns Sun One environment.

Senor noted that Suns integration expertise is lacking in certain areas. "Sun has zero mainframe experience," he said.

iWay adapters connect disparate platforms and applications and must be optimized for different environments. For example, iWay previously created versions of its adapters for BEA Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. environments.

Typical adapters would link ERP applications from J.D. Edwards & Co., now owned by PeopleSoft Inc.; Siebel Systems Inc.; Oracle Corp.; and SAP AG.

While the adapters for most environments are written in Java, the adapters for Microsoft are written in C Sharp and are not portable to other environments. The adapters are sold in a package but activated individually, and they typically range in price from $15,000 to $150,000 each.

At the Information Builders Summit user conference here, Senor outlined to attendees a future direction for iWay that includes so-called "smart connections," or packaged integrator processes.

These are intended to integrate systems at the business-function level, a higher level than that served by current iWay adapters, Senor said. The goal is "black box" integration, he said. "You drop it in, and it just works."

In other news at the conference Tuesday, New York-based Information Builders announced a new business performance management framework built on its flagship WebFocus business intelligence and Web reporting product, along with a scaled-down version of WebFocus for VARs and ISVs to build applications on and a set of WebFocus controls for BEAs WebLogic Workshop development environment.

The WebFocus performance management framework includes dashboards, performance metrics, management methodologies and financial reporting applications built on the WebFocus platform.

The framework marks Information Builders first move into business performance management, though David Cook, director of performance management solutions at the company, said WebFocus customers typically build such applications on the platform.

This release, certified by the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative, will save customers from that step, Cook said.

The company also announced WebFocus Express, a version of WebFocus built specifically for the ISV and VAR market that has all components of the platform running on a single Windows machine using default settings, so ISVs and VARs can build applications on the platform more quickly and cost-effectively, Information Builders officials said.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read an interview with Information Builders CEO on the WebFocus framework.

Lastly, Information Builders announced the availability of WebFocus controls for BEA WebLogic Workshop 8.1, designed to provide a mechanism for accessing WebFocus reporting functionality from the BEA WebLogic Workshop development environment.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read a review of BEA Weblogic Portal 8.1.

This allows BEA developers to build WebFocus components—such as reporting, query and analysis, data visualization and analytical dashboard functionality—into BI applications developed for the BEA WebLogic Platform, using a drag-and-drop interface.

Connectivity between the new application and the WebLogic infrastructure is via either a WebFocus API or a Web service.

Reporting software developer Actuate Corp. announced a similar offering Tuesday with its Actuate iServer Components for BEA WebLogic Workshop 8.1.

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