SAP, Computer Associates push enterprise portals

Enterprise software vendors SAP AG and Computer Associates International Inc. Wednesday laid out separate plans for personalized, easy-to-use and all-encompassing portal applications that are aimed at simplifying end-user access to corporate business data and other information.

SAP announced an as-yet-unnamed portal package that it will develop in partnership with Santa Clara, Calif.-based Yahoo Inc. and said it's creating a new U.S.-based subsidiary to oversee its enterprise portal activities. The moves follow a planned acquisition of portal developer TopTier Software Inc. that SAP announced last Friday.

Meanwhile, Islandia, N.Y.-based CA detailed the upcoming release of an upgrade to its six-month-old Jasmineii portal software. New features will include support for users who need multiple portal "workspaces" on their screens and the addition of an increased number of international languages.

Hasso Plattner, co-chairman and CEO at Walldorf, Germany-based SAP, said during a press conference Wednesday that the company's collaborative portal initiative with Yahoo is aimed at speeding and simplifying data access for corporate users who need better ways of organizing the voluminous amount of information they face each day.

"It's the kind of ease [of use] that really makes people self-sufficient," Plattner said. "You switch it on and you instantly see, 'Oh, it looks like Yahoo'." The planned portal is scheduled for release by midyear as a companion to SAP's enterprise resource planning software and other applications, he added.

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