Vignette retools to boost e-commerce image

Vignette will retire the successful Story Server brand and replace it with the V/5 eBusiness Platform in an effort to break away from image publishing and content management.

Story Server will survive as the Content Manager Server and the Lifecycle Personalisation Server components of the V/5 line of products. The company will also open up the Vignette development environment, allowing customers to develop applications in popular scripting languages such as JSP (Java Server Pages) and Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP).

Vignette officials indicated that the Story Server name, although widely recognised, was too closely tied to the image of publishing and content management.

"We are trying to break out of that pigeonhole," said Bob Pierce, senior product marketing manager at Vignette.

Currently, customers and Vignette developers must use Tcl (Tool Command Language) to write Vignette applications. A Web developer at the recent Vignette conference said the new scripting language support is good news, calling Tcl "outdated and difficult to use".

Support for ASP will be included in the first release of V/5, scheduled for sometime before June. JSP support is not promised until the end of the year, in a later release.

The V/5 product line features six servers; in addition to Content Manager and Lifecycle Personalisation, and includes Relationship Marketing Server, Communication Server, Syndication Server, and Advanced Deployment Server.

With this re-branding, an open development environment, and expanded product line, Vignette hopes to capture a larger share of thebusiness-to-consumer and business-to-business e-commerce markets.

"Over the course of the next year, I think the distinction between b-to-c and b-to-b will fade," said Richard Schwartz, senior vice president for technology at Vignette.

"It will just be e-commerce, and with V/5 we can provide the application framework to support it."

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