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EDS boosts its hosting service

Electronic Data Systems expands a partnership with Maxamine to help customers assess the makeup of their Web sites as well as analyze traffic.

In another sign that the market for rented software is maturing, Electronic Data Systems on Thursday said it is adding Web site analytic tools to its Web-hosting offerings.

The Plano, Texas-based computer services company said it is expanding a partnership with Maxamine Software to give clients the ability to assess the makeup of their Web sites as well as analyze traffic.

"As business becomes more dependent on the Web, the importance of using sophisticated but cost-effective technology to find and fix problems buried in today's complex Web infrastructure continues to mount," Maxamine CEO Stephen Kirkby said in a statement.

Through the new agreement, EDS Web-hosting customers can access Maxamine software to do such things as check to see that personal information from users isn't being leaked inadvertently to third parties and that their Web sites meet standards for use by visually impaired people. Maxamine software also can help customers analyze the quality of Web site construction by looking to see if too much data is crammed onto the home page or a nearby page--which could create slow loading times for users and frustrate them.

EDS has offered traffic analysis in the past in a hosted fashion, but not tools as advanced as the Maxamine software, said EDS spokesman Salim Rahimi. Maxamine's applications can be used to analyze traffic patterns such as the number of user visits and the amount of time people spend at the site. Previously, EDS has sold Maxamine Web site analysis software in a packaged form.

The EDS offering comes amid other evidence suggesting the rented software approach--also called the application service provider (ASP) model--may be establishing itself after false starts and limited technologies. Though most ASPs initially aimed their products at small and midsize businesses, some--such as Salesforce.com--recently have gained traction in larger companies through deals for departmental projects and smaller units.