New Deals Open Portals to Content

Northern Light to offer Oracle content management features; Hummingbird's EIP expands plug-ins.

Portal vendors are working overtime to make deals with content and infrastructure suppliers to help shore up their offerings. Northern Light Technology Inc. and Oracle Corp. will announce early this year an alliance in which Oracle will incorporate Northern Lights content integration, classification/taxonomy and text search capabilities into Oracles FastForward Enterprise Portal RPM product. Serving as an ASP (application service provider), Northern Light will also provide access to articles from 7,100 business and trade publications.

Northern Light last month introduced a technology integrator program for its SinglePoint enterprise information portal and has signed up three partners—NexusGroup, Knowledge Management Associates Inc. and iSeer Inc.—to develop knowledge management systems, enterprise intranets, corporate portals and Web sites.

Now available, SinglePoint is typically an intranet-based service that helps companies manage business-relevant information. The portal integrates, classifies and searches for content according to the specifications of the customer, said officials of the Cambridge, Mass., company.

Delahaye Medialink, of Norwalk, Conn., is using Northern Lights proprietary content for its Total News Tracking service, which tracks references to companies across the Web, TV, newspapers and magazines. "Northern Lights content is very comprehensive. It searches deep and wide, with broad reach across geography, media type and topic or subject," said Mark Weiner, executive vice president of Delahaye.

Separately, Hummingbird Ltd., of Toronto, is shipping its Enterprise Information Portal 4. EIP 4 features integration of legacy applications via a new Extensible Markup Language-based application interface, a new and customizable user interface with dynamic HTML functionality, and a Web Update capability that allows administrators to automatically upgrade EIP deployments and install additional plug-ins to reach new applications and information sources, officials said.

EIP 4 also supports Unix platforms and scripting languages and has tighter integration with Microsoft Corp.s Outlook and Exchange.

Hummingbirds EIP 4.5, due to be announced this spring, will improve collaboration and the user interfaces design and intuitiveness, increase the number of plug-ins and support for legacy applications, and add support for wireless devices such as personal digital assistants.

Plumtree Software Inc. announced that BT Ignite Application Services, the ASP unit of BT Ignite, British Telecommunications plc.s broadband and IP data business, will use Plumtrees Corporate Portal 4.0 to provide business productivity applications to its customers, said Plumtree officials in San Francisco.

BT Ignite will host Corporate Portal 4.0 for midsize and large businesses and government agencies. Those customers will use the technology to deploy messaging applications, directory services and collaboration tools in a personalized portal without having to install or maintain client software, officials said.