IBM links Web 2.0, CRM

The WebSphere sMash 1.1 platform can now function with the SugarCRM Sugar 5.2 CRM system.

IBM revealed on Tuesday afternoon that its WebSphere sMash 1.1 platform for situational applications can function with the SugarCRM Sugar 5.2 CRM system, offering capabilities such as workflow.

Announced last year, sMash is positioned as a Web 2.0 platform supporting SOA, RESTful services, and agile development. It serves as a development and execution platform for agile, Web-based applications.

"With the tools we have, you can extend the [functionality] in SugarCRM to do things like workflows, to do things like connect to back-end systems, and to use resources that are potentially not in PHP" but enabled by Java, said Jerry Cuomo, IBM vice president and CTO at WebSphere, during the SugarCRM SugarCon 2009 conference in San Francisco.

In sMash, the PHP and Groovy scripting languages are enabled along with Java technology. A PHP interpreter runs on top of Java, providing the foundation of the sMash server, Jerry Cuomo said.

"This gives us the ability to run applications like SugarCRM -- and it's not just running them but it's also providing that experience or that environment that you can enrich," Cuomo said.

WebSphere sMash is available free to developers but must be purchased once a sMash application is put into production.

Cuomo stressed how scripting languages can supplement Java and are the likely choice of next-generation programmers such as his own son. He noted that PHP is popular in Web development.

"I think PHP and Java make good friends," he said.

Sun also has been accommodating scripting languages in the Java platform, offering JRuby, for example, which provides a version of the Ruby language on top of the Java Virtual Machine.

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