Fujitsu takes integration software worldwide

Fujitsu Software will soon sell its suite of integration software in the U.S., Europe and Australia, hoping to take on established rivals such as BEA Systems and IBM in the market for software used to link enterprise applications.

Until now, Fujitsu's Interstage middleware suite has been sold largely in Japan. At a Gartner conference in Florida on Tuesday it announced availability of the products in the U.S. Similar announcements will follow in November at Gartner events in Europe and Australia, said Robert Sepanloo, general manager for Interstage at Fujitsu Software.

The suite comprises seven products which can be bought separately or together. The company, a subsidiary of Fujitsu in Tokyo, picked out three of the products -- two of which are new -- that it hopes will distinguish it from the pack.

The first is Interstage Business Process Manager, used to model and then automate businesses processes by linking applications in a workflow. Formerly known as i-Flow, the product has been enhanced with better capabilities for linking parts of a business process carried out offline by people with parts that are carried out by machine, Sepanloo said.

It works with application servers from BEA and IBM as well as with Fujitsu's own, Sepanloo said. Fujitsu also offers a version that requires no application server, which is often embedded in products from third-party vendors such as iManage, Sepanloo said. Interstage Business Process Manager starts at US$49,000 per CPU.

Among the new components in the suite is Interstage XBRL Processor, a toolkit for developers creating financial applications using XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language), a standard for exchanging financial information in corporate business reports. Interstage XBRL is "basically a Java library with some helpful applications on the side," he said. Pricing starts at $2,000 per CPU.

"Anyone making a financial application, whether it's being developed internally or using a packaged application, will need to read and write to the XBRL format, and we'll help them get there a lot faster," Sepanloo said. Organizations including the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Australia's Inland Revenue agency have begun to support the standard, he noted.

The other new component is Interstage XML Search, for companies that want to store and search large volumes of XML data but don't want the expense of supporting a full-function database. The product doesn't search using indexes, which can be too time consuming to maintain, according to Sepanloo. Instead, the software "runs through and reads the whole file every time," he said.

Interstage XML Search uses a search algorithm developed by Fujitsu that distributes as much as a terabyte or more of XML data across a group of low-cost servers, such as blades running Linux, where it can be searched in parallel, he said. Pricing starts at $15,000 per CPU.

The other components in the suite are an application server, a portal server, a content server and an integration server.

Fujitsu Software currently sells approximately $7 million of Interstage products a year, Sepanloo said. Through its marketing and partnership efforts it hopes to lift that figure to $25 million next year and $100 million the year after that, he said. Based in San Jose, California, the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu.

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