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RIA & Ajax: Article

IBM Announces New Portal Server That Leverages a Web 2.0 AJAX-Based Interface

Solution Offers Companies a Simple Approach to Creating Portal Solutions

IBM has announced a new portal server for departments eager to start a small portal project and then build and expand on their initial technology investment. WebSphere Portal Server serves as the software foundation for building applications and services that reside within a portal, best known as a common entry point for business users who need to share information regardless of where the information resides.

The new portal server offering simplifies the creation and delivery of portal components by leveraging service-oriented architecture (SOA), an approach that reuses a company's existing technology systems to more closely align them with a company's business goals, resulting in greater efficiencies, cost savings and productivity. For example, a people finder or awareness feature found in instant messaging products such as Lotus Sametime can be added to a call center application to help match a returning customer with a previously-known customer service representative.

Portal Server leverages a Web 2.0 Ajax-based interface that can help portal users accomplish more with fewer clicks while also improving portal performance. Included in the server are standards-based applications using popular file formats to deliver web content through Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds.

Additional new features of WebSphere Portal Server include:
-- Easier integration with applications such as Oracle, SAP and BEA, based on IBM's open standards strategy.
-- Access to nearly 1,000 business partner applications available at IBM's Portal Catalog
-- Advanced personalization and customization features, such as the use of new rules for business users to show or hide pages to help businesses improve team productivity.

"Business managers want to retain ownership of their portal and its content and they want a platform that allows them to easily customize their desktops," said IBM Business Partner Dennis Rot, portal architect, Portico Consultancy. "As our customers' portals mature, we're seeing a growing demand for composite applications. Portal Server will meet our customers' needs for portal solutions that reduce existing administrative loads and offer an enhanced user experience."

"Using WebSphere Portal Server as the front-end of a company's SOA ensures customers can take advantage of easy-to-use solution templates, a development environment based on open standards and aggressive pricing and packaging," said Mike Rhodin, general manager, Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software. "The added features in this latest release gives new portal users even more powerful tools to define and create a customized workplace that significantly improves productivity."

Businesses that start with portal server as their foundation portal can easily upgrade to other offerings in the WebSphere Portal family with WebSphere Portal Enable and WebSphere Portal Extend.

Portal Server is available through two options: purchasing 20 user packs for $2,500 or purchasing on a per processor basis for $50,000. These two options include one year of support and maintenance.

IBM WebSphere Portal Enable is $95,000 per processor while IBM WebSphere Portal Extend is $130,000 per processor.

More Stories By RIA News Desk

Ever since Google popularized a smarter, more responsive and interactive Web experience by using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) for its Google Maps & Gmail applications, SYS-CON's RIA News Desk has been covering every aspect of Rich Internet Applications and those creating and deploying them. If you have breaking RIA news, please send it to RIA@sys-con.com to share your product and company news coverage with AJAXWorld readers.

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