Plumtree upgrades portal package

Plumtree Software further extended its portal-based, Web applications building and management platform Monday, announcing upgrades to its Content and Collaboration servers, APIs for search and collaboration, and support and services for J2EE and .Net platforms.

The services and products enhance Plumtree's Enterprise Web Suite portal platform and give users more control of business processes and of application integration, said Plumtree CEO John Kunze.

"We're seeing much interest in integrating composite applications for customers and employees to come together," Kunze said. "The portal has become service-oriented and provides a platform for coordinating human activities."

Content Server 6.0 includes distributed content administration features, as well as desktop integration and portlet templates to allow users to create and publish content and populate applications. Collaboration Server 4.0 offers integration with desktop and personal productivity tools to foster collaborative environments. New APIs for search and collaboration allow developers to embed elements of Plumtree application services in composite applications.

Plumtree also announced services and support for customers seeking to deploy or upgrade to the Plumtree Corporate Portal 5.0 and support for those interested in migrating to Plumtree Corporate Portal 5.0J, in a J2EE environment.

The announcements are the latest in a series of actions as vendors add features to enterprise portal platforms.

Vignette, BEA Systems, IBM, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and Microsoft are also attempting to make their portal platforms the locus of Web-based application management, development, and integration.

Earlier this year, Vignette released Vignette Application Portal Version 7.1 and Vignette Builder to enable application management and integration.

The Vignette platform "allows end users to connect to Web services or other applications and to create portlets that integrate with each other," said Rob Perry, Vignette's director of product marketing.

One analyst said the move toward more sophisticated portals is rapidly gaining momentum.

"A lot of the new products focus around user collaboration and not just portals deployed in a Web browser," said Laura Ramos, a vice president at IT research company Forrester Research. "Plumtree's position is that certain types of composite applications require business interaction and they feel their platform is ideal for that.

"Composite applications are not just about taking pieces of applications and assembling them, but they involve people in the process and provide users with a context about working in this environment," Ramos added. "Making this process more efficient requires more collaboration, and this is where Plumtree is focusing."

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