Feeds

IBM acquires Bowstreet for composite application development

Primed for blue-washing

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Analysis On the 20th December, IBM announced the acquisition of long-time partner Bowstreet, a 75-person, privately-held company based down the road in Massachusetts from IBM's Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software group, into which it will be assimilated (or "bluewashed" as IBM quaintly refers to it). The acquisition is hardly surprising given that the two companies have been working together for more than four years and share more than 100 customers.

Bowstreet began life in the heady, pioneering .COM days as a web services specialist but saw the writing on the wall with the crash and quickly refocused its efforts on portals, and more specifically portal application development frameworks—its Portlet Factory — and a number of application solutions developed using the Portlet Factory for corporate performance and workforce management. Since then the company has worked very closely (in fact, almost exclusively) with IBM and now offers the WebSphere Portal Adapter which provides tight integration with IBM's WebSphere Portal and Rational Software Architect and as Michael George, CEO of Bowstreet so aptly put it "Brings Microsoft ease to the power of Java".

The two companies clearly know each other well and the technology is well integrated and as a result IBM believes that the washing process should be rapid with Bowstreet rapidly taking on a blue tint in short order. The roadmap discussed in the announcement sets out spring next year as the timeframe for re-branding and integration, with Bowstreet Portlet Factory becoming IBM WebSphere Portal Portlet Factory and the Bowstreet Corporate Performance Suite becoming part of IBM's Workplace for Business Strategy Execution.

Bowstreet has also worked with Oracle to provide a Portlet Factory optimised for the Oracle Portal (part of the Oracle Fusion Middleware "suite"). IBM and Oracle are already co-operating around WebSphere and Fusion (that's the Oracle Applications Fusion) and plan to continue co-operating on the Portlet Factory, although it seems pretty clear where resources are going to be focused over the next few months — and it's not in the direction of Redwood Shores.

IBM positions the combination of WebSphere Portal and Portlet Factory as a solution for composite application development. Note the use of "a" and not "the". Here lies the single biggest challenge for IBM going forward. It offers multiple solutions for composite applications, including the Portlet Factory, Workplace Designer, WebSphere Integration Developer for development and WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Process Server, WebSphere ESB, Workplace for deployment.

Customers are likely to confused by the array of alternatives and IBM is going to have to work hard to explain which approach makes sense when. It is not sufficient to simply state that Workplace, WebSphere Portal and Portlet Factory are for "integration at the glass" and WebSphere Integration Development, Process Server and ESB are for "integration at the backend". Customers need to know when it makes sense to do the former and how any investment they make can be exploited in the latter approach.

IBM will face similar challenges when it comes to asset integration. Bowstreet also provides a set of Integration Extensions for SAP, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Siebel, Documentum and a number of other applications and technologies. Customers need to know when they should use these rather than the integration capabilities provided with WebSphere.

So, whilst the acquisition certainly makes a lot of sense for IBM, the company is going to have to invest in advice and guidance to ensure it makes sense for customers too, in the context of the broader IBM SOA/composite application proposition.

Copyright © 2006 Macehiter Ward-Dutton

About the author

This article was originally published at IT-Analysis.com

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.