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Tibco ships push interfaces

Tibco will release interfaces for its TIBnet middleware so developers can write push applications for intranets and extranets.

Seeking to move ahead against "push" technology rivals, Tibco on Monday will release interfaces for its TIBnet publish-and-subscribe middleware so developers can write push applications for intranets and extranets.

The APIs (application programming interfaces) will be part of TIB/Rendezvous 3.0, a new version of Tibco's messaging middleware. The company claims it is the first "push" vendor to make APIs available for independent developers, although PointCast has announced plans to do so.

"If you're going to write a program to manage 'push,' you're going to need publish and subscribe," said Mark Bowles, Tibco's CTO. Tibco hopes release of the new version will boost TibNet as a platform for efficient, large-scale content distribution.

Monday's announcement follows Tibco's December announcement that by June it would unveil a series of products to build a TIBnet push platform. Plans include a "TIBnet engine" client software for Internet users, a firewall proxy that supports the Internet multicasting protocol on which TIBnet is built, a utility kit for ISPs, and various other tools for publishers.

TIB/Rendezvous is the messaging infrastructure for TIBnet products, which are the software components used to build content management systems for the Internet and intranets. Tibco's technologies allow a single message to reach thousands of users rather than requiring the same message be sent thousands of times. Tibco claims its publish/subscribe model can reduce network traffic by up to 50 percent.

The 3.0 version of Rendezvous integrates ActiveX controls and Java, allows certified messaging to guarantee and confirm receipt of data, beefs up security for publish-and-subscribe inside Web browsers, and adds tools to build fault-tolerant software.

For example, Tibco said its new version will let developers easily create interactive applications between a Java applet in a browser and Microsoft Excel.

Tibco has won backing from Cisco Systems, Informix Software, Oracle, DataChannel, Diffusion, and Quintus, who intend to incorporate TIB/Rendezvous into their products. Cisco, for example, intends to include Tibco technology in the operating systems for its routers.

"The development of a consistent messaging foundation will undoubtedly foster more rapid adoption of push computing," Edward Acly, director of middleware research of International Data Corporation said in a statement.

TIB/Rendezvous will be priced at $495 per PC user and $1,200 for a developer's kit. It is available on more than 30 platforms including Windows, Unix, Novell UnixWare, and NextStep. >

Tibco is an independent division of international publishing giant Reuters Holdings. Founded in 1984, it has revenues of around $100 million, primarily from digital trading systems and integration work for financial services firms.