IBM on Monday released a new suite of communication tools that bring together instant messaging and message brokering.
The suite, known as IBM Community Tools, is designed to allow users to interact with communities, such as customer and partner communities, in a peer-to-peer network.
The tools combine IBM MQ Event Broker with the enterprise instant messaging capabilities of IBM Lotus Sametime, with Web services running under WebSphere Application Server, Apache and DB2. Together, the technologies can be used to locate experts, start impromptu discussions and alert and survey large groups of people in real time, according to IBM officials in Armonk, NY.
ICT has been used by IBM eSeries customers and business partners since February. With this release, they become available on IBMs alphaWorks Web site.
"By offering IBM Community Tools to the alphaWorks community, we can broaden the reach of ICT to a group that historically has proven to be a willing test bed for IBM emerging technologies—and leaps at the opportunity to experiment with the next hot tool from our labs," said Stu Feldman, vice president, IBM Internet Technology, in a statement.
Features of ICT include SkillTap, which instantly broadcasts requests for help to the communitys online subscribers; FreeJam, for holding just-in-time discussions with community members; PollCast, for polling the community and receiving anonymous survey results; TeamRing, for conducting Web presentations; w3alert, for sending alerts to community members, with optional links to Internet pages; and Question Search, for using natural language to search multiple knowledge bases and receive rated answers before asking the community for help.