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Lotus buys OneStone Holding

Lotus acquires OneStone Holding, a workflow software maker, in order to add additional technology to its Domino server.

Lotus today said it acquired OneStone Holding, a workflow software maker, in order to add additional technology to its Domino server.

The IBM subsidiary also debuted additional mobile computing tools for Notes/Domino.

Lotus said it purchased German-based OneStone to integrate its Prozessware workflow product into a future release of Domino. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

"Lotus acquired the company for its workflow technology and its market credibility," said Scott Copper, general manager with the knowledge management product group at Lotus.

By combining enhanced workflow technologies with the document management and search abilities of Lotus Domino, Lotus claims it is further elevating the Web application server functions of Domino, particularly as a knowledge management engine.

Knowledge management software lets corporations transform information from various sources--the Web, back-office applications, databases--into client applications for making business decisions.

Prozessware enables users to change from paper-based processes to electronically controlled workflow and consists of three components.

One component, Prozess Designer, is a visual development tool for defining, modeling and creating automated, controlled workflows; The Prozess Engine is a runtime component that activates, runs, and controls processes defined by Designer; and the Prozess Viewer is a visual tool for end users that shows the current status or context of their work, the company explained.

According to International Data Corporation, the workflow market is estimated to reach $4 billion in revenue this year.

In other news, Lotus at DemoMobile 99 yesterday rolled out a new mobile computing tool and mobile services for its Domino server that give its customers access to collaborative applications offline.

Under its concept of "pervasive collaboration," Lotus unveiled Mobile Services for Domino (MSD) 1.0, its new wireless package which extends Domino's reach to a broader range of devices and global networks.

Mobile Services for Domino 1.0 is a server-based application which extends the reach of the Domino messaging and collaborative infrastructure to all leading handheld and wireless devices and wireless data networks by allowing users to send and receive Notes Mail and short messages to and from cell phones, pagers, PDAs, and handheld computers.

MSD also allows users to remotely access their Domino servers over wireless networks in order to read, compose, and reply to email messages and calendar entries from wireless devices. Additionally, users can access the Public Directory to look up email addresses and phone numbers.

Lotus also announced the shipment of EasySync Release 3.0 for Notes, the latest version of Lotus's personal digital assistant (PDA) synchronization tool, which extends the new capabilities of the Lotus Notes R5 client which began shipping last month.

Lotus EasySync 3.0 for Notes gives users a way to synchronize their email, calendar, tasks, contact, and memo information between Notes and market-leading Palm OS platform PDAs including IBM's WorkPad c3 and 3Com's PalmIIIx and PalmV devices.

New features like repeating calendar and repeating To Do tasks allow users to keep track of their schedules and To Do lists anywhere and anytime. Notes R5 gives users the ability to establish categories when creating To Do tasks, a feature which is also supported on the To Do application on the handheld device.

Mobile Services for Domino 1.0 will be available for beta candidate review within 30 days and is expected to ship in the third quarter of 1999. Pricing has not yet been determined.

EasySync 3.0 for Notes will be available within 30 days from Lotus Business Partners and for download at the Lotus Web site. In addition, the new mobile synchronization tool is also bundled with every unit of IBM's newest WorkPads. The estimated retail price for EasySync 3.0 for Notes will be $68.