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Plumtree Looking to Grow SOA Support

Jumping onto the service-oriented architecture (SOA) bandwagon, Plumtree has launched an incubator program designed to entice developers over to its Web infrastructure platform.

The San Francisco-based enterprise software company is providing technical, marketing and engineering support to smaller vendors who want to incorporate Plumtree's portal, integration, collaboration and content management suites into their own products. The company calls the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) program the Plumtree Applications Incubator.

This nod to software vendors comes from its recent "Radical Openess" strategy, which opened the Plumtree Enterprise Web Suite to both .NET and J2EE development frameworks.

With this dual support, Java developers can create applications that interface with Microsoft's .NET and vice versa. Just as important, it allows developers to build the Plumtree suite from their integrated development environment (IDE) of choice, which gives them the chance to build applications in tool environments of their choice.

But company officials were quick to point out the benefits of building applications on top of their platform.

Rather than putting their software on an application server that stands alone in a network, users of Plumtree's enterprise platform are able to plug into any SOA-enabled network, thereby helping the application integrate easily with existing servers.

In order to get more companies to sign up for its platform, Plumtree wants to sweeten the pot by providing marketing and engineering support. The idea is to give application vendors a chance to product to market more quickly, with the benefit of Plumtree's sales force to pitch the product to potential customers.

"With Plumtree, the application is entirely your own design, highlighting your user interface, and using your application logic and your administration," said John Kunze, Plumtree CEO president. "With this program we'll bend over backwards to help you build new applications and bring them to market."

Licensing for the incubator program starts at $100,000, $25,000 a quarter with a one-year contract commitment. In return, the customer gets development and demo licenses, access to the company knowledge base, code samples and discussion forums and training courseware, as well as access to Plumtree engineers

Just as important as building the application, getting potential customers to hear about the new application is just as important. Plumtree will co-sell and co-market the new joint product with its sales force.

The company expects its application incubator program to be more successful than the more well-known industry sector known as incubators, which by and large sank after the technology bubble burst in 2000/2001.