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IBM to bulk up integration line

Looking to win dollars spent on infrastructure upgrades, Big Blue unveils WebSphere-branded process-integration software, services.

IBM is expected to expand its server software line on Tuesday with a handful of integration and workflow-related products.

The company plans to introduce two integration servers, called WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and WebSphere Process Server. The software pulls data from various sources and tracks different steps in a business process, according to a company representative. ESB is a loosely defined term to describe integration servers that rely on industry standard messaging formats.

In addition, IBM plans to introduce a development tool geared specifically for writing programs that move data between systems, called WebSphere Integration Developer. IBM's Global Services division has also developed professional services for building software that conforms to a service-oriented architecture, or SOA, an increasingly popular software design approach that relies heavily on standards-based integration tools.

Steve Mills, the general manager of IBM's Software group, is scheduled to host a teleconference on Tuesday to detail the new products and the company's intention to design software specifically for SOAs.

Analysts expect corporate customers to spend tens of millions of dollars on infrastructure software for building and running SOAs.

In the battle to win over customers, IBM is competing against other large providers, including Oracle, BEA Systems, SAP and Microsoft, which is detailing its SOA strategy at its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles this week.

Other new products include WebSphere Business Monitor, a program designed to let business people view the progress of a business process.