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IBM prepares Web strategy

Big Blue's Java-oriented software strategy for the Internet will focus on companies interested in electronic commerce.

IBM (IBM) tomorrow is expected to update its Java-oriented software strategy for the Internet, focusing on companies interested in electronic commerce.

The company is building middleware as a common infrastructure so that existing IBM hardware and software can be easily adapted for Internet or network-based computing and e-commerce, sources close to IBM confirmed. The announcements are expected to be built around what IBM will call its "Network Computing Framework"

John M. Thompson, IBM senior vice president, will unveil the software strategy tomorrow in San Francisco at a high-profile event that will include top executives from IBM subsidiary Lotus, as well as other IBM units.

"One of IBM's weaknesses as well as strengths has been that it's doing everything. They terribly need to do some rationalization," said Stan Dolberg, an analyst at Forrester Research. IBM could use the Lotus Notes distributed authoring environment with its other assets to create an "Open Market on steroids," he added, referring to the high-end e-commerce software vendor.

In a series of announcements, IBM is expected to:

  • Unveil a new high-end version of Lotus's Domino Web server software.
  • Rechristen AppletAuthor, an existing tool designed to allow Web developers to add Java multimedia and data to Web sites without writing Java code, like the BeanMachine for Lotus Notes.
  • Put JavaBeans in all IBM platforms from mainframes to PCs.
  • State that Netscape Communications' Enterprise Server 3.0 will offer native support for IBM's line of DB2 databases, making it easier and faster to access DB2 data in Unix, Windows NT, and mainframe environments.