BackWeb Touts App Server for Push

SAN MATEO (07/21/2000) - Setting its sights on creating a single infrastructure to manage multiple types of content delivery via push technology, BackWeb Technologies Corp. next week will introduce its Universal Push Initiative and BackWeb Push Application Server.

The company also gained support from IBM Corp. BackWeb teamed up with Big Blue to improve CRM (customer relationship management) in the financial services and telecom industries by integrating its BackWeb Foundation software with IBM WebSphere studio tools and Visual Age for Java, which will allow developers to push-enable their Web sites and applications.

The Universal Push Initiative builds on BackWeb's Polite push technology, which avoids clogging up networks by sending information only when there is enough bandwidth to handle the push messages. Universal Push delivers content over a modular architecture via different push service types. Information is pushed to the desktop and devices, including smart phones, PDAs (personal digital assistants), and voice mail.

"The ultimate goal of e-business is to deliver the right information to the right people at the right time," said Eli Barkat, chairman and CEO of San Jose, Calif.-based BackWeb. "Right now everybody is targeting devices. We're targeting the user, and we'll take care of the device issue as it pertains to the user."

BackWeb's Push Application Server will fill a key role in making sure users get the content they need by acting as a platform to create push-enabled applications. Using XML and CORBA APIs, content can be brought in from various business data sources to be pushed out to various devices.

The server packages push capabilities and "plays more as an infrastructure that is more mainstream with the different types of things people are doing in e-business," said Allen Bonde, director of advisory services at Extraprise, a Boston-based consultancy.

The Push Application Server also uses escalation features to make sure a user receives the push message: If the server does not get a response indicating that a user accessed the message at its first destination, it will withdraw the information and send it to the next device, following a priority list determined by the user.

The server will initially support Polite push and e-mail delivery, but will add wireless support by year-end with other devices to follow, BackWeb's Barkat said.

Extraprise's Bonde said partnerships will spread the message of push technology for business, especially if BackWeb wants to become the de facto push infrastructure standard.

"If you get enough people saying 'If you need push in an e-business environment, use BackWeb,' then it becomes almost secondary whether it's a true standard or not," Bonde said.

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