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WebSphere Hooks Up with Vignette, SAP

Armonk, N.Y-based IBM Corp. put its Web Services efforts on the front burner Wednesday, scoring client wins with Walldorf, Germany's SAP AG and Vignette Corp. for its IBM WebSphere portal.

WebSphere, which allows centralized browser and wireless access to corporate data and applications and is Big Blue's answer to Microsoft's Visual Studio.Net and Sun's SunOne initiatives, would be linked up with SAP's mySAP Technology and a series of portlets by Vignette, all aimed at expanding the capabilities of WebSphere.

At the CeBIT 2002 conference in Hanover, Germany, SAP announced it had opened its Web services architecture with support for open technical and business standards by integrating third-party infrastructure technologies, including Microsoft .NET and IBM WebSphere.

"Customers have to integrate a variety of technologies and applications to meet their business objectives. SAP provides its customers with a business-driven native Web services infrastructure with the instant open integration capabilities to drive collaborative business at low cost of ownership," said Henning Kagermann, CEO and co-chairman of SAP AG. "The tight integration of Microsoft .NET and IBM WebSphere additionally offers customers the benefit of two prominent technology infrastructures in the market."

SAP delivers portal development kits and connectors for Microsoft .NET and third-party J2EE application servers and the company said it plans to provide Web Dynpro presentation runtime for Microsoft .NET.

In the case of Texas-based Vignette, a series of portlets would be developed that would allow IBM WebSphere's business clients to access Vignette applications and Vignette managed content.

Vignette said three portlets would let the new Vignette V6 MultiSite Content Manager (VMCM) to integrate with IBM WebSphere Portal, which is standards-based, the company said. The integration will be available by March 31, 2002.

"By using the portlets to integrate Vignette and IBM software, customers can create, produce and deploy content within the IBM WebSphere Portal infrastructure," Vignette said.

The Vignette portlets would allow IBM WebSphere Portal Server customers to offer visitors contextual, relevant content. They will deliver user-friendly tools for IT departments by offering tighter integration with IBM WebSphere Portal Server administration tools so that IT users can install and configure them using the WebSphere administration interface, the company said.

With the WebSphere Portal, Big Blue is attempting to serve business-to-employee (B2E), business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) through one single portal access point. It is seen as the Armonk, N.Y-based IBM's response to similar tools offered by Siebel and PeopleSoft Inc.

Already, IBM has inked deals with ScreamingMedia, Inc. , Dow Jones-owned Factiva and research site Hoovers for the WebSphere tool.