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IBM blows its own horn on intranet

IBM trumpeted its intranet services in trying to become a leader in the market.

Fearful that it will left out of the intranet spotlight, IBM today attempted to draw attention back to its intranet offerings by announcing a series of related services, drawn from new and existing offerings, to assist corporate managers in planning, building, installing, and managing intranet systems.

The company is trying to position itself as an established leader in intranets, a nascent market where no single company has risen to the fore, including Oracle, Netscape Communications, and Microsoft, as well as a host of upstarts.

IBM, however, does have an intranet strategy, one that includes offering several seminars for IS managers on how to plan migrations from client-server to intranet systems and new Internet-related consulting services.

But the company's biggest potential advantage is its ability to link into legacy database and host applications. Big Blue last month announced an add-on package called Domino for Lotus Development's Notes that will let developers move access to corporate groupware applications onto the Web. Domino will convert Notes data to HTML pages on the fly, allowing users to use Notes databases with their Web browsers, though they will still need proprietary Notes client software to get all Notes services.

Today, the company said the add-on will ship by month's end on Windows NT. Versions for HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, and OS/2 will follow later this year. Domino will at first be available for download from Lotus' Web site but will also ship as part of Notes 4.5 this fall.

A second version called Domino II--expected to enter beta testing late this year--will make all Notes services available over the Web, the company said.

Related stories:
A day at the intranet, with Oracle
Lotus Notes to become true Netizen
Lotus Domino leans toward the Web
Netscape enlists HP for intranets
Netscape, CompuServe target intranets