IBM, Lotus to Coalesce WebSphere, Domino Server

IBM Corp. and its Lotus Development Corp. subsidiary are working to erase the barriers between their key application-server platforms and to better articulate their positioning.

While final bundling has not been worked out, IBM and Lotus have drawn up blueprints for bolstering Lotus's Domino server with IBM's WebSphere Java technologies and middleware, and for more closely pairing the two as a server tandem, according to sources familiar with the companies' plans.

Although the application server functions of the two environments overlap somewhat, and will likely continue to do so, IBM and Lotus are evolving a more integrated programming model and relying on WebSphere as the glue to bind collaborative and transactional applications.

IBM and Lotus are expected to detail the planned merging of WebSphere and Domino architectures at this week's Lotusphere conference for users and business partners in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The Domino server platform, which currently employs the Java servlet engine, later this year will gain additional WebSphere Java capabilities, such as Java Server Pages and extended Java servlet support, as well as the ability to call Enterprise Java Beans components from servlets and agents, according to the sources.

The two platforms will also gain bidirectional communications and symmetrical single sign-on security access.

WebSphere, which has come to encompass many key IBM middleware and Java technologies, is positioned as the underpinning for the company's various functional server environments.

In this model, Domino represents IBM's collaboration engine and Net.Commerce, its electronic commerce engine, according to the sources.

IBM Corp., in Armonk, New York, is at http://www.ibm.com/. Lotus Development Corp., in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is at http://www.lotus.com/.

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