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IBM(R) Enables Composite Applications With New IBM Workplace(TM) Application Development Tool

IBM Workplace Designer 2.5(TM) Helps Customers Build Customized, Collaborative Application Components

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ARMONK, NY - 24 Aug 2005: IBM today announced the general availability of IBM Workplace Designer 2.5, a new Eclipse-based development tool that helps developers easily build components to use in composite applications running in the IBM Workplace environment, including IBM Workplace Collaboration Services(TM) or IBM Workplace Services Express(TM). With IBM Workplace Designer, customers can extend roles-based, document-oriented composite applications while taking advantage of the cost-effectiveness and flexibility of an underlying services-oriented architecture (SOA).

A composite application brings together disparate applications to initiate new business practices without having to start from scratch. Based on SOA, composite applications are quickly assembled from reusable components, and allow organizations to efficiently adapt software to changing requirements. Composite applications enable customers to re-use data to create new processes for partners, suppliers, customers, or employees during time-critical situations such as mergers and acquisitions or new product rollouts.

IBM Workplace Designer is designed to help script developers leverage existing skills, using forms, views, and scripts in a visual integrated development environment. Built on industry standards such as XML and JavaScript, IBM Workplace Designer allows developers to build a simple, re-usable component in as little as five minutes. Included with IBM Workplace Designer are sample collaboration components that developers can use to add additional functionality to their composite application. The additional components include a blogging component, a project management tool, contact management list and online discussion forum. IBM Workplace Designer is also able to import forms from existing IBM Lotus® Domino® applications for use in building new IBM Workplace applications.

Since first released in beta form in June, over 2,000 developers have taken advantage of the tool's ease of use and flexibility to build applications for the Workplace platform.

Developers such as Rob Novak, President of SNAPPS, a long-time IBM Business Partner and now an IBM Design Partner, says Workplace Designer gives technical users and Lotus Domino developers a "jump-start" to developing applications for Workplace, helping reduce production time for customers' customization and development needs.

"IBM Workplace Designer provides us with a framework for development, a familiar IDE, and support for languages (Javascript, XML, HTML) that we already use on a daily basis for Web development. It lets us take the skills we've developed over the years and instantly put them to work with IBM Workplace applications. Some development tools in the market promise to ease the transition from one technology to another, but don't really deliver. IBM Workplace Designer delivers, he said. "If you look at the world of IBM Web developers out there, it's pretty compartmentalized. Imagine IBM WebSphere Portal developers in one room, and Lotus Domino developers in another. IBM Workplace Designer doesn't just unlock the door between them, it kicks it down."

"There is a growing application development space forming around the creation of composite applications that can be accessible through browsers, rich clients and mobile devices," said Ken Bisconti, vice president of IBM's Workplace, Portal and Collaboration products. "IBM is at the forefront of providing more innovative ways of building applications using standards-based technologies in order to add collaboration to existing business processes. With IBM Workplace Designer, IBM is establishing a leading application development platform that allows developers to realize the full vision of the IBM Workplace environment."

Pricing and Availability
IBM Workplace Designer will retail for $649 per user. It is available for download from IBM's Passport Advantage site. IBM Business Partners can download IBM Workplace Designer from the IBM Software Access Catalog. Information on the IBM Software Access Catalog can be found at http://www.developer.ibm.com/isv/

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