Iona Rounds Out iPortal Suite

SAN FRANCISCO (04/03/2000) - Iona Technologies Inc. is using its Iona World developer conference, which gets underway in Boston today, as a showcase for the company's iPortal Suite. The middleware vendor released two more pieces of the suite today, as well as making product announcements related to the firm's flagship ORB (object request broker) Orbix and unveiling some iPortal strategic partnerships.

Iona first started talking about its planned iPortal Suite in October of last year as the company's answer to the ongoing trend toward consolidation in the middleware industry, which is centering around B2B (business-to-business) computing. Portals are best described as Web sites that act as the first entry points to other resources on the Internet, with Iona positioning its suite as an aid to companies attempting to build enterprise portals.

The company released the first two pieces of iPortal Suite -- Orbix 2000 and iPortal Application Server -- early last month. [See "Iona to Release First Two Pieces of iPortal Monday," March 7.] Today, the middleware vendor released two further iPortal Suite components, Iona said in a statement issued today. IPortal Integration Server, effectively a repacking of the company's existing messaging products, is the application integration piece of the suite which gives users the necessary connectivity to develop and deploy B2B enterprise portals. IPortal OS/390 Server provides developers with an e-business mainframe platform, according to the company.

IPortal Integration Server offers users a multi-cast messaging infrastructure which draws upon Iona's CORBA (common object request broker architecture) Notification capabilities for scalable decoupled and asynchronous messaging; three types of application adapters supporting ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications from the likes of SAP AG, PeopleSoft Inc. and Baan Co.

NV, CICS (customer information control system) and OS/390 applications and custom applications; graphical support tools for mapping messages; and a workflow engine in order to aid companies in tying together their front- and back-office systems with mainframe and e-commerce applications.

The software supports standards including XML (extensible markup language), CORBA, J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) and CICS, Iona said.

IPortal Integration Server runs on Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris, Hewlett-Packard Co.'s HP-UX and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT operating system.

The Integration Server hub pricing starts from US$40,000, while the adapters begin at $60,000 per application.

Pricing wasn't immediately available for Iona's iPortal OS/390 Server. The software includes support for legacy programming languages Cobol and PL/1.

Based on the OS/390 version of Iona's Orbix ORB, the product comes in five flavors, from a basic edition offering core ORB capabilities for mainframe and USS (Unix systems services environments), through a CICS version, an IMS edition and a joint CICS and IMS release to a Java edition. The Java version of the software allows developers to run distributed Java applications on the OS/390 mainframe operating system, Iona said.

The iPortal OS/390 Server Integration Toolkit enables developers to reuse legacy applications, generating Orbix Cobol integration servers from IMS transactions and CICS programs.

Iona will also be previewing the final component of the suite, iPortal Server, at this week's user event. IPortal Server offers user integration with the Net via a portal access and control platform.

On the partnership front, Iona today announced a global tie-up with Origin Technology in Business to deliver iPortal Suite to users building B2B enterprise portals. A relationship with PrismTech Ltd. both boosts Iona's CORBA (common object request broker architecture) services and allows PrismTech to resell Iona's iPortal Application Server. Iona is also teaming up with Segue Software Inc. as a way for both parties to extend their products to customers they have in common who are looking to develop, test and deploy B2B enterprise portals.

Iona, based in Dublin, Ireland, can be reached at +353-1-637-2000 or via the Internet at http://www.iona.com/. The company's U.S. offices are in Waltham, Massachusetts, reachable at +1-781-902-8000.

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