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Radnet does some fine-tuning

Undaunted by the gathering legions of groupware makers, the developers at Radnet are fine-tuning a new version of their WebShare software.

    Undaunted by the gathering legions of groupware makers, the developers at Radnet are fine-tuning a new version of their WebShare software to help corporate Webmasters customize Microsoft's BackOffice and Netscape's Suite Spot applications.

    The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based start-up will begin shipping version 1.2 of the WebShare Server and Designer development tools in two packages before the end of the year. One will be configured to integrate with Microsoft's server suit, Exchange groupware tools, and the other will work with competitor Netscape's server and groupware tools.

    Reed Sturtevant, Radnet's chief technology officer, said the company has tailored the upgrade to the needs of corporate Webmasters, information systems executives, and independent developers who build custom applications for Netscape and Microsoft software. He said new WebShare packages will offer "a platform for custom applications, not just part of BackOffice or SuiteSpot."

    "Within an afternoon you can have 100 users up and running," Sturtevant said. "It's simply a matter of installing the software and making a few decisions."

    Beta testing for the products, which have not been named, is being finished with a small group of Radnet customers, he said. Pricing has not yet been set but will be in the ballpark of the original WebShare version's price, launched this spring for $995 for the development toolset and $2,195 per server.

    Radnet, founded last year by several former employees of Lotus Development, is trying to carve out a market niche as a provider of cross-platform, Web-based technology. The strategy is aimed at bypassing the burgeoning battle among a crowded field of established players and Web-based groupware start-ups.

    Sturtevant said the company has no interest in developing its own email and other collaborative applications, opting instead to play a middle role between groupware applications makers and the Internet. The company's single product supports a variety of Internet protocols and works with standard browsers.

    The company is, however, working on an enhanced version of WebShare to be released in the first quarter of next year.