What the Siebel Component Assembly, a.k.a Nexus, really brings to the table (in addition to componentized packages of software) is a development platform to build what are ubiquitously referred to in the software sector as composite applications.
The Component Assembly includes an underlying Foundation Workbench that includes a repository and editor tool that lets users create and modify meta data-driven components, into composite applications. The workbench can import and export Web services from a number of different development environments, for use in composite applications. The whole thing runs on .Net and J2EE application servers—a consequence of Siebels Nexus development work with BEA Systems Inc., IBM and Microsoft.
Separately, Siebel unveiled five Component Sets and has said it will build at least 59 more in 2006. The Sets, which provide services that let users build composite applications, are focused on the areas of sales, service, business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and something called foundation, which provides services to build any other customer-centric applications.
The Component Assembly infrastructure is geared toward Siebel users who want to develop their own composite applications, but also toward partners and system integrators that want to build add-on applications.
Siebels Component Assembly offering fits in with the companys Customer Adaptive Solutions strategy and architecture unveiled Monday. The strategy and underlying technology has been created to help users better serve their customers—the goal of CRM—by being able to respond to changing customer requirements at the system and process level.
The reality, however, is that Siebel like many of its competitors, is still under way with the process.
In a keynote address Monday morning Bruce Cleveland, senior vice president and general manager of products at Siebel, said that in 2006 users will see a "dramatic improvement in the flexibility of the component based offering," that includes hybrid deployment capabilities with Siebels on premise and on demand software.
At some point in 2006 Siebels application user interface will evolve as well to take on a task-based metaphor—otherwise known as roles-based—user interface, according to Cleveland.
"Over time, [the system] will automatically configure role-specific UIs depending on [user] requirements," said Cleveland, during his address. "Also, finally, were going to integrate with Microsoft Office so tightly that it will serve as the primary UI."
And while Siebel is in the throes of next generation development, it will also be in the midst of an acquisition—its own. Oracle Corp. in September placed a $5.85 billion bid for the company. The deal, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in early 2006.