IBM strengthens its business software offerings

Trying to strengthen its business software integration strategy, IBM Corp. has rolled out a series of messaging and integration products it hopes will help corporate users better manage transactions across their infrastructure.

At the center of the new rollouts is a speedier version of WebSphere MQ Integrator that also has more flexibility to integrate a wider range of applications including those with XML data formats.

Version 2.1 now supports multiple operating environments including support for HP-UX, Windows NT/2000, Sun's Solaris, and IBM's AIX and zOS mainframe operating systems.

IBM has also improved the product's plug-in capabilities that permit a wide range of applications to be connected to its integration broker. This makes it simpler for IT managers to more directly integrate applications across a worldwide network, IBM officials contend.

"With (version) 2.1 we are extending up to environments like zOS, focusing more on the financial markets. Most U.S. banks are already deploying the MQ Integrator for things like straight through processing," said Jeff Henry, director of integration infrastructure for WebSphere in Somers, N.Y.

In concert with WebSphere MQ Integrator, IBM unveiled an improved version of its MQSeries Workflow product that helps larger accounts better manage business processes as well as accomplish better business integration.

Version 3.3.2 helps IT shops exploit the capabilities of their existing IT infrastructures that govern transaction-oriented environments. Like MQ Integratgor, the Workflow product supports multiple IBM and non-IBM operating environments and now has a built-in Web client with a single-sign on feature.

Another new feature in Workflow is its ability to leverage an MQSeries Messaging capability, which enables Workflow audit messages to be sent to a JMS MQ que. This means that any application within the MQ environment can subscribe to this JMS que to fetch a message on a particular business event.

IBM has also announced a series of WebSphere Adapters that allow the server to connect with competing application environments including SAP's mySAp.com, Oracle applications, PeopleSoft, and J.D. Edwards's One World.

Separately, IBM has signed a deal with Peregrine Systems to resell Peregrine's line of integration adapters, capable of integrating WebSphere and MQSeries products with a range of data base and legacy hardware environments.

Lastly, IBM rolled out WebSphere MQ Publish and Subscribe Edition, designed to extend the reach companies to reach more customers and remote employees. The product helps to assure the delivery of messages as well as the faster distribution of transient messages and seamless integration with the publish and subscribe functions within WebSphere MQ environment.

Users can get more information about the WebSphere MQ series of product by going to www.ibm.com/mqseries/2h01announce.

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