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RealTime IT News

Plumtree Aims for Best of Both Worlds

In the TV show "Seinfeld," George Castanza bemoans the collision of two worlds -- his personal and romantic -- and the havoc that ensues. But one Web portal company sees the collision of two different worlds, in this case the Java and .NET worlds, as a good thing.

To that end, enterprise Web platform company Plumtree announced Monday its new strategy, "Radical Openess," which gives IT departments the opportunity to deliver Java- and .NET-based applications -- at the same time or separately -- across one enterprise network.

The new product is an extension of Plumtree's existing Enterprise Web Suite, a component called the Corporate Portal 5.0J for its new inclusion of the J2EE Web services framework.

Officials expect 5.0J to be released in mid-2004.

For the past year, Plumtree has been delivering its enterprise platform over the .NET framework. Because of customer demand, however, it quickly looked at getting Java-based applications into the same arena.

Radical Openess, according to Glenn Kelman, Plumtree CEO, is the next step in Web services, where companies aren't forced to choose one framework over the other.

"We think we're the first company that didn't just sorta say, 'yeah, if you want to code it in .NET, we'll find a way to support it,' but that actually lives in both worlds," he said. "The reason we did this is because we've got partners that are building applications in Java, .NET -- in all sorts of different development environments -- and they wanted to combine bits and pieces from different back ends."

Historically, Kelman said, companies building an application for their business decided beforehand on one operating system, one application server, one database, one constant repository to build an entirely new system.

"It's a very expensive proposition and what you get is a sprawl of different sites, each with its own login and back-end," he said.

Using Web services standards like WSDL, an application created in a Java can interface with a Windows user directory and vice versa. It also lets companies using solutions like those from Documentum work with Windows through a Web services-based API .

"We think the Web is this big chance to have an open environment that's not tied down to Windows or tied to Oracle or tied down to IBM, but to expand all that stuff, where it can be this open environment that cuts across all the boundaries," Kelman said. "In general, we're trying to give our customers and partners the openness to combine resources from different applications servers that's usually a religious boundary in the technology world. -- you're either in the Java world or your in the .NET world.

"We want to live in both worlds," he said.