Stories by Michael Meehan

Web services: Laying the foundations

Service-oriented architectures hold out the promise of reinventing IT as we know it, according to proponents of Web services. With Web services standards such as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) for messaging and Web Services Description Language (WSDL) to identify the content of a SOAP message, users are dreaming up ways to unlock information formerly trapped in legacy systems and share it across their entire IT infrastructures.

Dell expands Into enterprise networking

Following its entrance last September into the small and midsize business networking market, Dell Computer Corp. last week announced its expansion into enterprise networking.

Warning: Go slowly with Web services

Web services may be the next big thing, but a group of users, analysts and even Web services vendors acknowledged last week at a roundtable on the issue that significant barriers to using the technology remain.

Sun moves to open up its portal software

Sun Microsystems Inc. announced that the next version of its portal server software will work with rival application servers and support operating systems other than Solaris, although those features won't be in the initial release.

Scandal to push systems redesign

As US federal investigators dig deeper into a scandal involving shady online energy trading, it looks as if IT departments will be required to redesign the e-commerce systems that once stood out as the pride of the energy industry.

Extreme integration

Early enterprise application integration (EAI) mostly involved gluing together various vendors' applications. The EAI vendor sent you an adapter for your enterprise resource planning module and your e-commerce application and voilà! They began sharing data.

WorldCom stakes hopes on data transmission

Executives at embattled WorldCom Inc. today held a teleconference in which they proposed to sell off more than US$1 billion in assets during the next six months as part of a corporate turnaround plan.

WorldCom steps up wide-area Ethernet coverage

Giving the idea of using Ethernet beyond the LAN a boost, WorldCom Inc. last week unveiled a nationwide data networking service that offers Ethernet across metropolitan- and wide-area networks.

Cisco makes its routing software more resilient

A week after Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers trumpeted the importance of network resiliency at the Networld+Interop conference, the company announced a major upgrade of its routing software that's aimed at reducing the number of network failures.

A do-it-yourself Web site update

Bob Palmer, vice president of IT at Lenox Collections, a division of Lenox Inc., set out with a team of developers to revamp LenoxCollections.com. Key drivers for the change were the need to reduce the number of clicks in the checkout process, more closely align the site with its other sales channels (namely its catalogs), provide consumers with more information about their purchases and update the site design.

Energy industry to adopt digital signatures

Giving digital signatures their biggest endorsement to date, energy giants such as Entergy Corp. and American Electric Power Co. Inc. plan to convert to a new digital certificate using newly developed signature specifications as part of every power trade they make.

IBM claim to ebXML patent sparks furor

A patent claim by IBM Corp. covering a submission it made to the electronic-business XML standards body created a furor last week over the notion of open standards and the ability of vendors to curb their proprietary tendencies.

Lucent mum on job cut report

Although it has yet to release its first-quarter earnings, Lucent Technologies is expected by telecommunications industry watchers to make even deeper cuts in its already struggling business.

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