Mainsoft links SharePoint, WebSphere portals

IBM will resell the technology, which allows enterprises to federate SharePoint data within WebSphere, enabling greater access to information

Mainsoft is joining with IBM Monday to enable enterprises to link portals based on .Net with portals built on Java.

Mainsoft's .Net Extensions for WebSphere Portal product suite combines new technology with software already available. The new product is Mainsoft SharePoint/SQL Reporting Federator, an add-on to Mainsoft, Portal Edition. It enables enterprises to federate .Net-based SharePoint contents and data and Microsoft Reporting Services within the Java-based IBM WebSphere Portal.

The portal-to-portal integration allows for greater access to information, according to Yaacov Cohen, Mainsoft CEO. "This way, an enterprise user can now access departmental sites, which were until now really silos of information," he said.

SharePoint sites are inexpensive and lot of organizations are seeing them proliferate, Cohen said. But central IT has invested in WebSphere Portal. Now, these departmental sites can be federated into WebSphere Portal so SharePoint data can be used in composite applications across .Net and Java systems, Cohen said.

Mainsoft, Portal Edition, the other part of the suite, is a Visual Studio-based software development kit that enables C# and Visual Basic developers to integrate ASP.Net applications locally on WebSphere Portal and customize the portal's infrastructure services.

IBM will be reselling Mainsoft's software. "For the first time, you have an enterprise portal that supports equally .Net and Java," said IBM's Sabine Schilg, director of portal and interaction services in the IBM Software Group.

The new Mainsoft product would ease the cost of integrating SharePoint and WebSphere Portal, said analyst David Gootzit, research director at Gartner. Integrating SharePoint into WebSphere Portal previously has required customization and code development, Gootzit said.

"Their new product makes it easier to integrate SharePoint specifically into WebSphere Portal," Gootzit said.

Mainsoft SharePoint/SQL Reports Federator costs US$9,000 per CPU. Mainsoft, Portal Edition costs US$6,000 per developer and US$20,000 per CPU.

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