RealTime IT News

WebSphere Portal 4.2 Adds 'Presence'

Looking to add popular usability features to its Websphere Portal Server, IBM has released an upgrade that includes presence management for users.

The addition of "presence" to the new WebSphere Portal Version 4.2 lets users portlet interface or working with identical portlets know when colleagues are available for real-time collaboration.

Big Blue has also jazzed up the upgrade to simplify the way users can consolidate information from multiple portlets. The WebSphere Portal Version 4.2, set to ship on December 30, also touts improvements to content publishing tools and interoperability.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM, which is positioning the software for the small and medium-sized markets, has also fitted "Click-to-Action" features within Version 4.2 to allow portlets from competing vendors to communicate with each another.

"Click-to-Action" had been available as a separate download but is now be built into WebSphere Portal.

The upgrade, which will be integrated and sold with IBM Content Manager, promises to control costs for enterprise users by improving usability directly into the product and customers get more out of technology and processes they already have.

Big Blue said the new version would also support a broader range of databases and directories.

IBM also announced the acquisition of exclusive rights to Macromedia LikeMinds technology to allow administrators and portal owners to identify the specific preferences of portal users.

IBM's aggressive rollout of the portal software comes as analysts are predicting steady growth in the market. IDC is projecting the portal market will reach more than $3.1 billion by 2006 up from $550 million in 2001.