IBM unveils mash-ups for the business user

23 Jan 2008

IBM has unveiled a range of Web 2.0 and collaboration tools including mash-ups and social software to help businesses improve workflow and hasten decision-making.

Attendants at the Lotusphere Conference in Orlando, Florida got an early look at IBM’s commercial mash-up maker, IBM Lotus Mashups, which allows non-technical users to create mash-ups in minutes.

The mash-up tool includes four key components: a browser-based tool that provides easy assembly of new applications by business users, which is built on the popular prototype known as QEDWiki; a mash-up catalog that supports the sharing and discovery of mash-up components, with built-in community features like ratings, tagging and commenting; a lightweight mash-up server, which can be hosted on a variety of platforms for added governance and IT control; and a rich set of out-of-the-box, business-ready widgets.

“As the number of young, more connected workers intensifies in organisations of all sizes, IBM is committed to helping people work they way they want to and adapt to the needs of a global workforce,” said Michael D Rhodin, general manager, IBM Lotus Software. “Clients recognise competitive advantage in blending and sharing mash-ups for deeper insights and in developing social networks for business that connect people to the right expertise at the right time.”

IBM has also announced the next release of its social software for business, Lotus Connections. Since the launch of Lotus Connections at Lotusphere 2007, it has become the fastest-growing commercial product in IBM software history, being deployed by hundreds of organisations around the world.

Lotus Connections 2.0, which will ship in the first half of 2008, will include several new features, such as a new homepage that aggregates and filters social data from all five services of Lotus Connections into a customisable view.

Also announced at the Lotusphere Conference was the general availability of Lotus Quickr 8.1, software that connects your desktop and internet applications to help teams inside and outside the firewall work easily together. Lotus Quickr 8.1 includes content libraries, team-discussion forums, blogs, wikis and other connectors that make sharing information in the workplace simpler than ever.

IBM is previewing the capability to integrate Lotus Quickr with enterprise content management systems such as IBM FileNet P8 and IBM Content Manager. IBM said it was providing the industry’s most complete end-to-end content and collaboration solution from a single vendor.

By Niall Byrne