IBM Announces New Version of Workplace Products With Enhanced Support for Open Standards and Improved SOA Functionality

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ORLANDO, FL - 23 Jan 2006: IBM today announced availability of new releases of its core IBM® Workplace™ products, including Workplace Collaboration Services 2.6, Workplace Managed Client™ 2.6, Workplace Forms™ 2.6 and Workplace Designer 2.6. The 2.6 versions of these products include more than 50 new features and functions, including enhancements to cross-platform and open standards support. Along with WebSphere Portal, the Workplace family of products help provide the front-end to IBM's Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) strategy.

Support for SOA and open standards, including the OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard in the Workplace Managed Client, iCal support in Workplace Collaboration Services, and XForms in Workplace Forms, gives IBM's Workplace customers greater flexibility and choice. Key innovations such as activity-centric computing provide organizations with tools to transform how employees work together.

SOA enables new applications and business processes to be assembled from reusable components or "services," giving customers the flexibility to adapt to changing business conditions and react to market opportunities. IBM Workplace software products offer a rich set of ready-to-use collaboration components, deployed as SOA services that can be combined with line-of-business applications to create customized, role-based work environments.

"In today's business environment, customers face a choice of productivity and collaboration software that can be both costly and somewhat limiting in its design and deployment characteristics," said Mike Rhodin, general manager of IBM's Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software business. "Built with more flexibility and efficient management in mind, IBM's Workplace family of software products provides a broad range of capabilities to enhance employee productivity and enable organizations to leverage their intellectual capital and adapt more quickly."

New features and functions in the new version of IBM's Workplace family of software products include:

Workplace Collaboration Services 2.6

IBM Workplace Collaboration Services is a single, integrated product based on open standards that includes a wide range of collaborative capabilities or "services," such as e-mail, calendaring, team spaces, instant messaging, on-line learning, Web conferencing, document and Web content management. The 2.6 release includes user interface enhancements across all components, an enhanced document search engine, support for ODF, iCal support for calendar interoperability with IBM Lotus® Notes®, and a new instant messaging gateway to Lotus Sametime, which will connect communities of users between IBM Lotus Sametime® and Workplace Collaboration Services. Additions to Workplace Collaboration Services cross-platform support include clustering for iSeries®, DB2® Enterprise Server Edition V8.2 as a data store, and IBM Directory Integrator V6.0. Release 2.6 also provides increased scalability and performance, up to a 400% improvement in performance in some areas of the product.

IBM Business Partner, Collaborative Learning Networks, deployed Workplace Collaboration Services for the Nechako Lakes School District in British Columbia, Canada. The school is using all five components of Workplace Collaborative Services to provide Web-based messaging, collaboration, and on-line learning resources for every student. The Workplace solution has given Nechako Lakes the capacity to meet growing admission demands, which will include 6,000 new users next year.

Workplace Managed Client 2.6

IBM Workplace Managed Client delivers a fully integrated server-managed client to the end user's desktop and can provide organizations with a "rich" front-end for their SOA deployment. It provides flexibility and portability of client-side applications, combined with server-side control and the cost savings traditionally associated with Web-based computing. The Workplace Managed Client features innovative technology that was available on a pilot basis to selected customers during 2005. Version 2.6 is the first generally available release of this technology. It includes support for the ODF standard, which will give organizations a consistent, standards-based format for creating, storing and sharing documents. In addition, the Workplace Managed Client supports a Lotus Notes plug-in for Linux desktops, responding to frequent requests from Lotus customers to provide them with a lower-cost Linux-based desktop option.

IBM Business Partner, Ericom, has utilized the flexibility and scalability of the Workplace Managed Client platform to implement Workplace Managed Client with its product PowerTerm WebConnect for Messaging, Collaboration, Document Management and IT Resource Access.

"Ericom is pleased to have collaborated with IBM to offer PowerTerm WebConnect for Workplace Managed Client, which enables access to applications and documents residing on Windows Terminal Server and legacy systems from within the Workplace Managed Client," said Eran Heyman, CEO of Ericom Software Inc. "The integration of PowerTerm WebConnect with Workplace Managed Client provides users with a unified platform to carry out everyday business processes, increasing overall productivity."

Workplace Forms 2.6

IBM Workplace Forms is new electronic forms (or "e-forms") software that can help companies streamline and customize the way business data is captured, processed and exchanged. More efficient than paper forms, IBM Workplace Forms allows customers to integrate back-end corporate data and applications -- such as inventory figures, customer data or pricing information -- with specific formats that provide a unique, electronic replica of paper-based forms, which is critical in vertical industries like insurance, government, banking and healthcare. The new version of Workplace Forms offers support for growing XForms standard and expanded operating platform and language support (internationalization) for worldwide use.

Workplace Designer 2.6

IBM Workplace Designer is a software development tool that allows developers to quickly and easily create new components and applications that can be used with multiple Workplace software products. IBM Workplace Designer makes it easier for developers familiar with Domino Designer -- as well as those familiar with script-based programming languages and Visual Basic -- to build J2EE applications and components. These new tools expand the capabilities of the Lotus Domino developer community, estimated at nearly one million, and help them leverage their skills and investments for standards-based software development.

Using standards such as Java, XML and JavaScript, developers can rely on their existing skills to build components such as expense reports, discussion forums, blogs, and team-based work components. Workplace Designer 2.6 is now integrated with the installation and administration of Workplace Collaboration Services 2.6.

David Kolakowski of Kolaco, a business technology consulting firm, uses Workplace Designer and Workplace Services Express to create custom applications for its customers. "With the introduction of IBM Workplace Designer, Kolaco saw this as an opportunity to take its meeting management system, TrackMeet, and incorporate it into the team collaboration features of Workplace Services Express," he said. "By completely rebuilding the TrackMeet product for Workplace Services Express and using the Workplace Designer API Toolkit, TrackMeet for Workplace adds functionality and integrates with other Workplace software components, including the team calendar and document management."

Pricing and Availability

IBM Workplace Collaboration Services 2.6, IBM Workplace Managed Client 2.6, IBM Workplace Designer 2.6 are available now. IBM Workplace Collaboration Services server sells for $90,000 per processor. IBM Workplace Managed Client is $69 per user. IBM Workplace Forms 2.6 will ship in the second quarter of 2006: The IBM Workplace Forms Server will be $25,000 SRP, IBM Workplace Forms Viewer will be $188 SRP, IBM Workplace Forms Designer will be $649 SRP.

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Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source