ATG to add support for IBM WebSphere platform

This week Art Technology Group (ATG) will announce beta support for IBM's WebSphere Application Server across ATG CRM and portal applications.

The move underscores a continuing evolution for ATG, which has its own J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition)-based application server competitor to IBM's framework. While turning its focus to the application layer above app server infrastructure, ATG is working to optimize its offerings for the standard J2EE app server layer.

Last month, the company rolled out support for BEA Systems Inc.'s WebLogic, and later this year plans to port its offerings to Oracle, iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard app server infrastructures.

"IBM and BEA cover about 70 percent of the app server market. For us it made it easier to go to a customer who had already made the decision to standardize on certain infrastructure products [and] offer applications and products that layer on top and leverage that existing investment," said Ken Volpe, vice president of product development at ATG.

Tuning its own applications for IBM and BEA will help the ATG Enterprise Portal Suite and other applications integrate with products and back-end systems that are tied together by those application servers, Volpe said.

The effort is an indication of a trend in which both portal and content management systems increasingly need to play on top of the leading application server products in order to survive, according to Hadley Reynolds, director of research at Boston-based Delphi Group Inc.

"This is really a replacement architecture for what many software vendors prior to widespread acceptance of app server technology had been building on their own," he said. "All the portal and content management players are shifting to the standard app server backbone or they are out of the game."

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