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Sybase revamps portal software

The software maker is trumpeting a test version of its latest portal software, which lets companies create Web page portals for their employees, customers or business partners.

    Sybase, looking to expand the appeal of its software, on Monday revamped its portal and software development tools.

    The software maker announced a test version of its latest portal software, which lets companies create Web page portals for their employees, customers or business partners.

    Sybase competes against IBM, Oracle, BEA Systems, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft and others in the growing market for portal-server software, which gives people one-stop access to vital information stored in a mishmash of dissimilar e-mail programs, human resources systems and sales databases.

    At the company's annual customer conference in San Diego, Sybase executives said the new Sybase Enterprise Portal 5.0 will feature improved security, support for Web services and compatibility with application server software from rivals BEA Systems and IBM.

    The new version includes point-and-click tools that will allow developers to build "portlets," small bits of information, such as news or sales forecasts, that are combined on a portal site to deliver a single view of corporate data. The testing program for the new version will begin August 15. The final version is expected to ship in October.

    Sybase also announced the test version of its latest PowerBuilder software development tool with new support for building and using Web services, an emerging way to build software that allows businesses to interact and connect to each other via the Internet. The final version of PowerBuilder version 9 will ship in the first half of next year.

    Sybase also announced that its application server software is compatible with the latest version of the Java standard and supports the AIX and HP-UX operating systems. Application servers are behind-the-scenes technology that companies use to run e-business and other Web site operations.

    The company launched 1-800-database.com, a Web site featuring tutorials, documents and tips on using Sybase databases. Customers can also dial the phone number to access information.

    Lastly, Sybase announced that its iAnywhere Solutions subsidiary, which builds databases for mobile devices, now includes improved integration with software development tools by Borland, Metrowerks and AppForge.