ATG moves up from app servers; BEA first target

ANALYSIS [FEBRUARY 5, 2002] -- Art Technology Group's (ATG's) move "up the application stack" gets going in earnest with the general availability recently of ATG Dynamo J2EE applications for e-commerce, relationship management, and portals running on BEA's WebLogic server. This is the first third-party application server supported by ATG. The company's applications will also become available on IBM's WebSphere app server line in the future.

The move came on the eve of BEA's User Conference.

Ken Volpe, director of ATG product marketing, indicated the company's goal is to add value to standard Java servers. ATG was one of the earliest houses to create Web application servers, as well as e-commerce catalogs and personalization engines. But those markets have evolved.

"We put [many elements] in our app servers that are not part of the app server [definition] today," said Volpe. The company will concentrate on selling such 'value-adds' in the future.

Viewers suggest that ATG, like other early Internet concerns, is experiencing a contraction in the application server market that sees the app server function becoming the province of a handful of players, including IBM and BEA. Volpe suggested that ATG's scenario-based development interface could be used by a variety of developers and managers throughout the enterprise, and that the company is pleased to leave the infrastructure 'plumbing' to the likes of BEA.

The reckoning here is that the app server game is narrowing, but that users still need a variety of tools and engines to produce advanced Web-based applications.

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.