Citrix, Sybase Tune Portal Offerings

Two portal vendors are boosting their offerings with new capabilities.

Two portal vendors are boosting their offerings with new capabilities. Citrix Systems Inc. last week bolstered its XPS portal by adding information-sharing capabilities through integration with eRoom Technology Inc.s namesake collaboration software.

Separately, Sybase Inc. last week released an easy-to-install version of its Enterprise Portal, which provides navigation, content management and personalization.

XPS, which Citrix gained through its acquisition of Sequoia Software Inc. earlier this year, enables users to access information, applications or business tools through a single portal interface. The addition of the eRoom technology extends these capabilities by enabling those same users to come together and form project teams that can interact with one another in structured and unstructured settings and in real time or asynchronously.

To accomplish the integration of eRoom, Citrix created a Web-based application, called an XPS Content Delivery Agent, that snaps into the XPS portal users home page, according to officials at Citrix, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and eRoom, of Cambridge, Mass.

Citrixs eRoom announcement followed a similar deal with SiteScape Inc. unveiled late last month. As with eRoom, SiteScape, of Wilmington, N.C., brought new collaboration capabilities to Citrix XPS.

Citrix plans to roll out early next year a system that combines its longstanding NFuse portal and XPS portal software, officials said.

Meanwhile, Sybase, of Emeryville, Calif., played up the idea that its new Enterprise Portal-Express Edition 2.0 was easy to deploy, acknowledging that it was only a first step in creating a framework that could be enhanced with more advanced functionality over time. The framework itself is based on a Java 2 Enterprise Edition-compliant application server.

Key features in the Sybase product include prebuilt pieces of code (called portlets) for easily adding content feeds; built-in support for search, categorization and personalization; and single sign-on to multiple applications via a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol directory.

Sybase EP-Express Edition 2.0 is available now.

Gartner Group Inc. recently picked SAP AG as the strongest portal player due to its purchase of Top Tier Software Inc. earlier this year. The research company, based in Stamford, Conn., put Sybases EP portal among its top four picks because of that companys record for delivering a strong architecture. Gartner considers Citrixs offerings "visionary" but is not as confident about the companys ability to execute on that vision.

"The portal product market is still very overcrowded with many me, too products," the Gartner report stated. "With the first round of shakeouts well under way, the ranks of the portal product vendors are thinning. ... Until the shakeouts end, risk-averse enterprises should invest tactically or stick with a larger player."