CA ventures into Web portal market

Computer Associates (CA) is the latest vendor to join the crowded portal software market with a product designed to stand out through its ability to present end users with personalised data from a host of sources.

The company's Jasmineii Portal sits on a Windows NT or Unix server and delivers data to end users via their Web browsers. The software determines what information to deliver by using a predefined user profile and CA's Neugents technology, which can track the usage patterns of individuals or a group, learn their preferences and determine what information to deliver. The software also uses the Eureka portal engine technology obtained through CA's recent acquisition of Sterling Software to provide what may make CA's product rise above others in the market, says Michael Dortch, principal research analyst at the Robert Francis Group.

"Enterprise information portals must be flexible, open, scalable, robust and interoperable," Dortch says. CA can deliver such a portal product because its Jasmineii platform integrates with applications, databases and directories, and supports XML, Java and other standards-based access methods, he says.

But CA plays up its portal's ability to provide "dynamic personalisation" as the biggest differentiator. The first level of personalisation comes from the net administrators who set up the portal software and determine who has access to what information and securely assign those rights. End users can then predefine what information they want pushed to their desktops. Lastly, CA's Neugents technology can push relevant information to end users based on clickstream analysis and user profiling.

Pricing starts at $US10,000 for small sites, but can scale up to several hundred thousand dollars for companies with thousands of end users.

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