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Allaire debuts Web publishing tools

Allaire rounds out its family of Web development tools with new Internet publishing, e-commerce, and personalization software.

Allaire is rounding out its family of Web development tools with new Internet publishing, e-commerce, and personalization software.

Allaire today will announce Spectra, a software package that lets businesses build and manage Web-based content. It includes e-commerce software, such as shopping carts and credit-card authorization, and personalization software, which profiles Web surfers and target information based on their interests.

With today's announcement, Allaire enters the competitive e-commerce and content management software market that includes heavyweights like Microsoft and IBM, as well as start-ups Art Technology Group, Vignette and Broadvision.

Allaire is one of the first application server makers to dive into the e-commerce, content management, and personalization software market. Its competitor ATG already wraps its e-commerce and personalization tools around its Dynamo application server, while IBM is rebuilding its Net.Commerce software to lie on top of its WebSphere application server, Truog said.

An application server is software that acts as the glue between a client and back-end services, such as databases, human resource applications, and stock trading systems. It helps companies build e-commerce sites by processing transactions and running the business logic--or the rules--of applications.

In fact, e-commerce software firm Open Market in July purchased Future Tense, whose content management software uses Netscape's application server.

Spectra, previously code-named Tempest, uses Allaire's ColdFusion application server as its underlying technology and includes an XML-based object database.

It includes a workflow system that automatically routes documents over the network to appropriate users. It collects and analyzes Web site data and churns out reports for businesses and includes security features that allow network administrators to decide what type of access to data each user can have.

Jeremy Allaire, vice president of technology at Allaire, said the company will soon augment its software offerings with Web management tools stemming from its purchase of Bright Tiger, which had software that monitors the health of the network and reroutes traffic if problems arise, such as a server going down.

In addition to Spectra and the ColdFusion application server, Allaire offers two Web development tools: HomeSite and ColdFusion Studio.

Spectra, currently in beta, will ship in early October priced at $7,495 per server.