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IBM buys Build-It tool

The acquisition extends Big Blue's push to bolster the Web tool arsenal of its WebSphere product family.

    IBM continues to bolster the Web tool arsenal of its WebSphere product family.

    Big Blue today said it has acquired the Web content assembly tool Build-It from Wallop Software, for an undisclosed amount. IBM said it plans to incorporate the new tool into the IBM WebSphere Studio, a set of Web site development and management tools for the WebSphere Application Server.

    In related news, IBM affiliate NetObjects said it will license the Build-It tool as well as the WebSphere Studio workbench to include in its NetObjects Web development products.

    Integrated with NetObjects Authoring Server Suite, Build-It and WebSphere Workbench will enhance the NetObjects suite's controlled, collaborative Web authoring environment for Web site builders and application developers, the company said.

    The next version of the NT-based WebSphere Studio 1.0 is due out October 30, according to IBM executives, with versions for the company's own operating systems scheduled to roll out early next year.

    Announced this summer, WebSphere Application Server is a new product for building Web-based business applications. The WebSphere Studio workbench gives a unified view of all components in a Web site, from which individual tools, such as NetObjects Fusion, and now Build-It, are launched to help create and upgrade Web sites.

    "Our latest move enhances the WebSphere Studio and extends its open nature to help Web developers through all stages of development--from Web site authoring, content creation and dynamic presentation to tapping into back-end systems and extending them to the Web," said Paraic Sweeney, vice president, IBM Web Server Marketing.

    Application server software is becoming one of the hottest new areas for server software companies. The software is used to link client applications with data and applications on host systems. Analysts claim the software is particularly valuable for e-commerce applications, which typically link into existing databases and need an intermediary layer of software to translate information and manage client access to legacy systems.

    The software also can simplify the task of linking incompatible systems and systems located in disparate locations.

    In June, IBM bundled the Apache software as part of its WebSphere application server offering, which includes a variety of Web-based development tools that cater to delivering electronic commerce applications. Apache's role will be to communicate with desktop users accessing Web-based commerce sites. The offering will also include connections to database software.

    Earlier this month, IBM announced it is enhancing the HTTP services in its WebSphere application server to boost performance and security and further support the open source code Apache HTTP server.

    This continues NetObjects' and IBM's efforts to closely tie WebSphere and NetObjects Authoring Server Suite, said the vice president of the enterprise division of Net Objects. "We are excited about the possibilities of integrating Workbench with our products, especially NetObjects Authoring Server Suite, to offer users of third-party tools an efficient way," to use the authoring and management suite.