21 May 2003 IBM added 50 new entries to its growing software catalogue at its European Software Symposium in Munich this week, further underlining its strong commitment and investment in the middleware and application development markets.
However, the new products were peripheral to IBM’s core line-up, suggesting that the main pieces of IBM’s “ebusiness On-Demand” software strategy are largely in place for now.
Forty eight of the “products” consisted of industry specific templates for developing integrated solutions using IBM’s core middleware platform, WebSphere. The tailored solutions consist of pre-configured integration templates, along with services provided by IBM and its business partners.
They address 11 key vertical markets: automotive, banking, chemical and petroleum, electronics, energy and utilities, financial markets, healthcare, insurance, life sciences and pharmaceutical, retail distribution and telecoms.
Although IBM argued that it is responding directly to customer requests for preset solutions, a spokesman for rival BEA Systems criticized the product. He said: “IBM’s approach to vertical business integration has little to do with customized software, and a lot do with using high-priced consultants to do the actual customization that vertical industries require.”
IBM also announced a new software testing tool called XDE Tester and a new rapid application tool (see IBM re-introduces rapid application development)
Although IBM’s European Software Symposium produced little in the way of headline news, the event was busy and appeared to attract developers and strategists from many user organizations.
On the advice of lawyers, IBM executives refused to comment on the allegations by SCO Group that IBM programmers had violated SCO’s Unix patents by copying key portions of SCO’s Unix intellectual property into the open source operating system Linux.