Volume 4, Number 9 -- March 13, 2007

IBM Tosses Google Gadgets Into WebSphere Portal

Published: March 13, 2007

by Dan Burger

IBM's WebSphere Portal users are about to find a brand new bag of tricks on their doorstep. Next month, the WebSphere Portal catalog will include Google Gadgets, which means portal page designers and portal dwellers will have access to utilities that provide links to research databases, package delivery tracking tools, Google Maps utilities, traffic information, and applications such as Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

These and approximately 4,000 other small applications will end up as the building blocks that configure composite applications supporting a variety of business objectives, says Lauren Wendle, IBM WebSphere Portal product manager. Portal developers will be able to drag and drop the Google Gadgets into page layouts designed for their own needs, Wendle said, while pointing out the administrative controls built into WebSphere's portal environment will allows administrators to regulate access to these Web services so things do not get out of hand.

The integration of Google Gadgets with the leading enterprise portal software, based on license and software revenue as tracked by IDC, is considered to be an important advancement for both Google and IBM. For Google, this is another step into the world of enterprise software and for IBM it's an impressive addition to its catalog of existing business applications. Just one week earlier Google unveiled Google Apps Premier Edition, a suite of Web-based business applications, including spreadsheets, word processing, e-mail, calendaring, and instant messaging. According to Google officials, the applications are designed for enterprise-level customers. IBM claims to have more than 3,600 customers that have deployed its WebSphere Portal software. The Workplace Portlet catalog has more than 150 business partners representing more than 440 offerings.

IBM is obviously pleased to announce the WebSphere Portal enhancement with Google, since everyone wants to bask in Google's glow. The announcement dovetails nicely with its recent Lotus announcements that highlighted social networking applications that are being added to Notes and Domino products. There are no mention of an exclusive partnership with Google, whose officials left the door open to working with other companies as it must.

Google Gadgets will be available to WebSphere Portal and WebSphere Portal Express Version 6.0 customers at no additional charge.

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Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik, Kevin Vandever,
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