iPlanet goes mobile, expands on Sun ONE

Sun Microsystems Thursday put some meat on the ONE (Open Net Environment) initiative it announced last month, by launching several new software applications providing mobile access to business services and information here at the CeBit trade show.

The software will come from iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions -- a company formed by Sun and Netscape that is supposed to play a central role in the Sun ONE effort with its Internet-focused software. The new software is one of the earliest pieces of the Sun ONE puzzle to arrive.

Like rival Microsoft , which this week unveiled products for mobile users at the CTIA Wireless 2001 show in Las Vegas, iPlanet also concentrated on the mobile market with the release of the Portal Server: Mobile Access Pack. This software can be used by information service providers and corporations that want to give mobile workers access to key company applications and sales channel data, according to iPlanet. iPlanet claims the Portal Server's added wireless capabilities make it possible not only to create one central place where both customers and workers can access information but also provide a way to target that information based on the user's identity or location. Users can reach the portal via a PDA (personal digital assistant) or other Internet-enabled devices and check e-mail or calendars, make online transactions or access corporate tools.

The new software works with iPlanet Messaging, Calendar and Directory Server software and support WAP (wireless access protocol) and i-mode.

In addition to the Mobile Access Pack, iPlanet additionally introduced a Secure Remote Access Pack and a Personalized Knowledge Pack. The Secure Remote Access Pack gives remote users access to corporate intranets and extranet resources, while the Personalized Knowledge Pack allows users to work collaboratively on documents and create personal profiles that other members of a company can access.

The wireless access software will arrive by the later part of the second quarter or early third quarter of this year, but an iPlanet representative was unable to immediately provide pricing information for it or the other new packs. iPlanet also showed a new edition of its Portal Server product. Previously, the company sold a Standard Edition version of the software, including the iPlanet Application Server 6.0 and Directory Server. Now, users can also buy an Enterprise Edition on a J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) platform, which will be available in the third quarter for US$25,000. iPlanet expects this higher end software to appeal to customers with heavy transaction loads. Users must purchase the Application Server separately.

IPlanet, in Palo Alto, California, is at +1-650-254-1900 or www.iplanet.com.

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