IBMs WebSphere Grows with Businesses

IBM today announced new e-commerce software designed to give businesses greater flexibility in how they use Big Blues WebSphere product line.

A key part of the announcement centered around the release of WebSphere Enterprise Edition. Using the tools in the new release, businesses can plug IBMs Advanced Editions more powerful modules into the low-end WebSphere application server as their demands grow.

Before, IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., sold different versions of WebSphere for low-end and high-end use, making it awkward for businesses to move up the ladder as their demands grew.

"We want to enable our customers to move their e-business along in a very simple way," said Stefan Van Overtveldt, IBMs director of technical marketing for WebSphere.

The already existing Advanced Edition includes support for Java 2 Enterprise Edition.

Version 4.0 is the culmination of a plan announced by IBM earlier this year to reorganize its product line to make it more flexible and less complex. Aimed at high-volume Web sites, its new software includes components called Business Rule Beans, enabling businesses to make changes to their software without having to do any recoding.

Furthermore, developers, through adapters, will be able to link Java-based applications to those written in other languages, including C++, ActiveX and CORBA. Version 4.0 also includes services that allow Web pages to adjust to users time zones, currency and language.

In addition, new functions to Version 4.0 include ways for companies to manage their e-businesses, from analyzing browser behavior of visitors to caching and load balancing. Those will be released next week.

"Businesses will get a better understanding of how their Web site is performing and how people are using it," Van Overtveldt said.

The new Site Analyzer enables companies to review how their sites are being used. A new version of Edge Server includes load-balancing capabilities.

IBM also said that by the end of the year, a new version of its no-cost developers edition of WebSphere will be certified for J2EE Version 1.3, which was released by Sun Microsystems Inc. earlier this week.