10 May 2002 In a bid to defend itself from rapid commoditisation of the application server market, IBM is touting WebSphere as the centre piece of its new end-to-end integration offering.
At its developer conference in San Francisco, the systems giant also unveiled version 5 of its core WebSphere application server alongside a raft of further product developments.
The group’s main message to users was that the WebSphere range of products could tackle all of their integration problems at half the price of alternatives. This is because it believes it can reduce customers’ need for expensive developers by tying together IT infrastructures at a more granular level. By positioning itself as an integration vendor, IBM is taking aim at leading integration vendors Tibco and WebMethods.
According to IBM, the approach of existing vendors to integration is too broad. Instead, argues IBM, integration can be split into five components. Unsurprisingly, it claims to have a product that tackles each of these issues.
Business process integration is addressed by the workflow capabilities of WebSphere Business Integration, acquired with the CrossWorlds purchase.
User integration is based around WebSphere Portal Server. Application integration can be achieved with IBM’s application server and MQ Series. IBM’s Xperanto project will use DB2 to provide data integration. Finally, WebSphere and other middleware products will allow developers to embed functionality into applications early on in the development cycle.
Analysts say that with the possible exception of the new enlarged Hewlett-Packard, no other vendor can supply such a comprehensive range of infrastructure tools.