IBM execs ponder technology plans

IBM is eyeing tools enhancements to accommodate the semantic Web and also wants to boost the Eclipse open source development tool project.

Company officials met at their Academy of Technology conference in Burlingame, California, this week and discussed with media members where the company is headed.

One goal is to boost support of the semantic Web via modeling capabilities in the Rational Rose and Rose XDE (eXtended Development Environment) tools, said Grady Booch, an IBM Fellow. The semantic Web involves a Web that is more intelligent and intuitive and links related data without manual intervention. Booch cited as an example an application that can detect potential credit card fraud on the Web through usage patterns.

"It's not specifically semantic Web capabilities (for Rational tools), but it is increasing the scope of our modeling efforts," he said.

Planned by IBM for release in 2004 is a suite that will build on the Eclipse open source toolset, said Daniel Yellin, an IBM Distinguished Engineer and director of Software Technology, Services, and Software. IBM officials would not disclose further details of the suite.

To boost legacy data transformation, IBM plans to bolster integration capabilities available through the IBM Global Services division, Yellin said.

IBM later this year plans to make available for free to DB2 users its mobile, embeddable DB2 Everyplace database to boost deployment on cellphones and PDAs. This enables access to enterprise data from these devices, said Josephine Cheng, also an IBM Fellow.

"That means if you are a DB2 user, you get the mobility free," Cheng said.

The database also is being integrated with the WebSphere Everyplace Access suite, which provides mobility for wireless applications.

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