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Lotus upgrades Domino server

The IBM unit will debut more enhancements to its Web server intended to simplify integration with other business applications.

IBM subsidiary Lotus Development next week will debut further enhancements to its Domino Web server intended to simplify integration with other business applications.

The new capabilities will synthesize data stored in Domino with relational databases, transaction systems, and ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems, the company said.

The new components are hinged on Domino Enterprise Connection Services, DECS, a new form-based technology in Domino that allows developers to combine Domino Web applications with data from enterprise systems.

Another feature includes Domino classes, which allow programmers access to applications written in LotusScript, or Java languages from the server.

Finally, rounding up the group of enhancements is a set of Domino Connectors, consisting of modules which connect to external sources either through the forms-based development tool in DECS, or through the new Domino classes using LotusScript or Java languages. In addition, the Domino Connector Toolkit will provide developers with tools to build additional Domino connectors, the company said.

Bart Lautenbach, group marketing manager for application development at Lotus, said the new components of Lotus's enterprise integration advance its Domino Web server into a new and growing market in which businesses are looking to tie their front office and intranet environments to their back-office enterprise applications.

"There has been a lot of talk about what a Web application server really is. It is more than just an HTTP platform. It has to have a whole host of Web standards? these new features," help to further define Domino's place in the Web server market, he said.

The new components also expand on the current set of enterprise integration offerings, which includes Lotus NotesPump and existing Lotus Script objects classes, to connect SAP, IBM, MQSeries messaging software, and IBM CICS client software.

Domino connectors provide integration with enterprise applications such as relational databases, including IBM DB2, Oracle, and Sybase. Support for transaction systems, and ERP applications, including SAP, PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards, and Oracle Applications, will be offered as separate, stand alone Domino Connectors or modules, Lautenbach said.

DECS, new Domino classes, and the relational database and the data Connectors will be available at no charge in an updated version of Domino 4.6 and will be rolled into Domino 5.0, both of which are due by the end of this year. Connectors for transaction systems and ERP applications are due next year and will be priced individually. Executives would not disclose pricing information at this time.