iPlanet adds integration wares

Furthering its integration effort, iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions is releasing two new servers that will fit into the company’s e-business and Web services strategies.

The iPlanet Application Integration Platform, released in August, consists of message queuing software, an EAI server, and a B2B component.

In related news, Integration vendor Vitria Technology Inc. teamed with HNC Software Inc. to use its Blaze Advisor inference engine to scale out what is referred to as “straight-through business processes” in the insurance industry. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Vitria recently released Cockpit, which provides visibility into internal business processes and across supply chains.

Whether called business process management by Gartner Inc. or what Compaq Computer Corp. calls zero latency enterprise, a host of companies are offering this type of technology. They include application-server vendors such as IBM and BEA Systems Inc.; smaller companies Dimension Data Holdings PLC, Versata Inc., and iLog Inc.; and a slew of EAI vendors, including webMethods Inc., SeeBeyond Technology Corp., and Tibco Software Inc.

“The whole idea is separating the business process from the applications so it can be independent of the applications,” said Sanjay Sarathy, director of product marketing at iPlanet, in Santa Clara, Calif. The advantage is that changes made to one system reverberate across all systems automatically.

Clothing retailer The Limited Inc. uses Tibco’s integration software to separate its business process from applications, said Jon Ricker, president and CIO of Limited Technology Services. The Limited’s objective was to achieve real-time availability of data. Now that the business processes are independent, if The Limited wanted to produce more yellow sweaters, for instance, it could register the change in one of its systems and that would carry on to others all the way down to the cloth supplier, which would then know to create more of the desired yellow material. “We need our systems to be real-time, as in when one system gets a piece of data, then other systems know about that,” Ricker said. “That means getting information that typically wasn’t available, and getting it at exactly the time we need it.”