Tibco rolls Web services into workflow

Tibco Software Inc. rolled out a new version of its portal product Monday that integrates Web services support with Tibco’s workflow and business process management functionality in a move designed to allow enterprises to give users access to personalized data.

ActivePortal 4.0 is a user integration platform designed to aggregate information and interfaces from existing systems and Web services and deliver them to users directly in the context of business processes whenever key information changes or events occur, said Ramin Sayar, director of products and solutions at Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tibco.

“The portal is a critical part of the integration fabric,” Sayar said. “What we’ve done is provide a foundation that allows a customer to extend services to different applications, devices, and people inside and outside the firewall. We’re streamlining the business process to a particular user based on their role in the enterprise.”

ActivePortal is designed to convert standards-based Web services into viewable portal content and interfaces, letting users access and interact with publicly available or internal Web services. It can also convert its own content and services into Web services so they can be easily shared with and syndicated to other devices and delivery mechanisms.

In addition, ActivePortal is designed to support the routing and delivery of tasks and exception notifications to both individual and pre-defined groups of users and enables the event-driven delivery of alert notification to both Web and wireless devices, Sayar added.

Tibco has created an enterprise-class product that neatly ties together a variety of integration points including Web services, legacy systems, messaging, and its EAI (enterprise application integration) adapters under a common portal framework, said David Homan, principal analyst at Doculabs, a market research firm in Chicago.

Business process management tools can be applied to the exchange and presentation of data from these systems to provide a unique combination of traditional EAI, Web services, business process management, and portal elements, creating a new type of portal offering for the large enterprise, he added.

ActivePortal supports J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition), SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), WSDL (Web Services Description Language), UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration), WSFL (Web Services Flow Language), and XML (Extensible Markup Language). It is also designed to work seamlessly with leading Web server, application server, and database technology, according to company officials.

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