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Marimba to dance with Lotus

Lotus plans to use Marimba's Castanet "push" technology in its Domino server to provide software distribution capabilities.

2 min read
ORLANDO, Florida--IBM (IBM) subsidiary Lotus Development said today that it will integrate its Domino Web server with technology from Marimba to allow developers to upgrade software throughout a large company without ever physically touching a PC.

With the Marimba's Castanet technology, "we will be able to address one of the thorniest problems facing companies today," said Larry Moore, a Lotus vice president. He called the move to incorporate Castanet with Lotus's Domino.Broadcast Web publishing tool one example of how corporations can use emerging technologies to deliver software, news, and other information to employees and the world over private intranets and the Internet.

Lotus has formed similar partnerships with nearly a dozen "information pushers" in a move executives hope will bring its Web server a high profile and more sales.

"We see these apps as reinforcing our strategy for getting the Domino server out in very large volumes," Moore said.

Ian Campbell, an analyst with International Data Corporation, said that "it adds another strong feature...Pushing information, as a general concept, is going to expand the value of the intranet." However, he warned that chief information officers will have to carefully choose the type of broadcast tool they use to avoid overloading desktop information.

The Domino.Broadcast development tool is an add-on and works atop Lotus's Domino Web Server.

Lotus engineers will do underlying architectural work to make the product work on the server. Meanwhile, Marimba and the additional push partners will rework their own products to integrate with Domino and its Notes client.

Engineers at Lotus and Marimba are working to embed Marimba's Castanet transmitter into the Domino Server. However, companies will need to acquire additional client-side software from Castanet to reach corporate desktops, said Tom Banahan, vice president of business development at Marimba.

The first of the broadcast tools, Domino.Broadcast for PointCast, which combines the Lotus server technology with PointCast software, is scheduled to ship within the next 30 days and will cost $1,295 in addition to the Domino Server. The products featuring Marimba and BackWeb will be next to market, coming in the next few months, Lotus executives said.

While pricing for the Marimba and BackWeb products is not yet set, Lotus vice president Keith McCall said their cost will be similar to that of the PointCast version.

The deal is yet another addition to a growing roster of Marimba's Castanet licensees. The company has already inked deals with Netscape Communications, Apple Computer, and Corel.