IBM has announced new software designed to make it easier for companies and solution providers to develop and integrate Web portal technologies. This signals further enhancements to IBM's WebSphere Portal, which now includes out-of-the-box instant messaging, Web conferencing, and people finder tools within WebSphere Portal's Collaboration Center. The Collaboration Center can now be downloaded from the IBM WebSphere Portlet Catalog (www.ibm.com/WebSphere/portal/portlet/catalog). The Collaboration Center within WebSphere Portal will enable users to more easily find, communicate, and work with colleagues. The capabilities take advantage of IBM Lotus software to extend WebSphere Portal's existing collaborative functions. They allow users to interact with multiple collaboration applications including corporate white pages, organizational charts, instant messages, team workplaces, and virtual meetings. Additionally, IBM and its Business Partners have recently published over 200 new portlets and portlet builders to its WebSphere Portal Catalog, bringing the total of portlets available within the catalogue to over 900. The new portlets and portlet builders include knowledge management, collaboration, and search/retrieval applications. They can push such items as stock tickers, weather forecasts, calendars and news bulletins to a desktop via the portal, or be clicked on to connect users to personal productivity, core business, or collaborative applications. Also included in the Portlet Catalog is Bowstreet's Portlet Factory for WebSphere Portal, which is being resold by IBM. The Portlet Factory extends WebSphere Studio with tools to simplify the development and maintenance of customized, dynamic portal applications, enabling development teams to increase productivity and reduce time to implementation. It will be validated to integration standards laid out in the IBM Ready for WebSphere Studio program. Today, over 170 software companies are developing portlets for WebSphere Portal, including 45 software companies that have recently agreed to create portlets to more tightly link their software applications to WebSphere Portal technology for a broad range of industries.
IBM also now offering Application Portlet Builder for Domino. This solution will allow business users to build portlets around enterprise application functions based on IBM Lotus Domino, and enable administrators to customize its look and feel. IBM offers multiple application portlet builders for IBM and third-party applications, all of which allow portlets built with it to be aware of people active on instant messaging and to enable Click2Action information sharing between portlets.