Linux-based WebSphere integration debuts

IBM on Monday rolled out improvements to its WebSphere Business Integration Connect that are intended to help users better integrate and manage a business-to-business trading community made up of partners, suppliers, and users.

The 4.2 version of the product, which now supports Linux, is designed to help users stitch together internal applications by building an integrated trading partner community. One of the benefits of this is allowing companies to respond more quickly to a range of different requirements made by their trading partners, a company spokesman said.

IBM, through its Global Services unit, and Viacom will bolster the new version with a number of community integration services. Viacore for instance, an IBM business partner, will offer a suite of inter-company integration products and services for users wanting to build trading communities in order to manage both mid-market and enterprise-class trading environments. IBM will also provide solutions through WebSphere Business Integration Connect and will compliment it with other offerings in WebSphere Business Integration portfolio.

"We think this product will help companies overcome many of the obstacles associated with managing information among trading partners from very small to very large," said Marie Wieck, IBM's vice president in charge of WebSphere Business Integration in Somers, NY.

In one example of how the product can help users streamline a supply chain, a manufacturer with a large number of orders can use it to connect the partners that supply the products for customer's orders. The manufacturer could then check with these trading partners on availability of those items and respond quicker with more accurate information to the customer ordering the items.

The new version will be available in three editions. The low-end version of WebSphere Business Integration Connect will be aimed at small and midsize businesses, The Advanced Edition is intended for companies that want to connect to an expanding number of trading partners, and the Enterprise Edition has features and capabilities similar to the Advanced Edition but is priced more appropriately to manage large trading communities.

The entry level version will cost US$500 per processor while the Enterprise Edition will be priced at $150,000 per processor.

The product is scheduled to ship by the end of this quarter.

More information about the product can be found at www.ibm.com/WebSphere/integration.

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