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WebSphere Portal 6.1 To Couple Web 2.0, Enterprise Technologies

IBM revealed Wednesday that it will ship WebSphere Portal 6.1 this quarter (i.e., by the end of June) with new collaboration, administrative, deployment and Web 2.0 features based on input gathered from some 4,000 beta testers. The company also announced that it's shipping three of its accelerators for WebSphere Portal this quarter.

WebSphere Portal is a family of portal products that IBM aims largely for SOA implementations that includes a server and various extensions, as well as add-on modules called accelerators. The core software includes portal design, application templates, design helpers (such as themes), policy-based administration, and various other portal creation, maintenance and administration features.

Some of the new features set to appear in WebSphere Portal 6.1 include:

  • Web 2.0-based functionality, including live text tagging;
  • AJAX-based front-end features;
  • Support for "new classes of applications to be created in a much more intuitive and responsive fashion";
  • New content and document management features;
  • A self-help site wizard;
  • Improved portal security; and
  • Predesigned templates and new site creation tools.

"This is a first-of-its-kind Web 2.0 portal because it helps users interact with the information and people they need around the clock, from the Web and from within an organization," said Larry Bowden, vice president, Portals and Web Interactive Services for IBM, in a statement released Wednesday. "A portal is important because it's the first step in implementing any SOA strategy."

IBM said it holds a 64 percent market share in SOA, based on a 2008 study by Wintergreen Research. The company also said its portal software has been adopted by about 6,000 customers to date, with a 15 percent increase in adoption in the last year.

WebSphere Portal 6.1 will support IBM AIX, HP-UX, IBM I5/OS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Sun Solaris and Microsoft Windows Server. Further information about the forthcoming WebSphere Portal 6.1 can be found here.

In other IBM news, the company also announced Wednesday that it will release two "accelerators" (add-ons for WebSphere Portal that automate functionality and facilitate projects) by the end of June: Dashboard Accelerator 6.1 for WebSphere Portal and Content Accelerator 6.1 for WebSphere Portal.

Dashboard Accelerator 6.1 integrates WebSphere Portal with IBM's Cognos business intelligence solutions. Content Accelerator 6.1 provides authoring templates for "creating quick content like blogs." The 6.1 release will also include "richer in-line editing to enable users to easily create folders, sites or site areas," according to IBM.

The company has also started shipping Business Process Accelerator, a role-based system for portal applications meant to improve workflow.

About the Author

Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

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