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IBM announcing software to help e-business grow

IBM will enter the market for application servers aimed at large corprations, a crowded field that is expected to grow rapidly.

IBM's high-end application server is almost ready.

Big Blue will announce at its Solutions '99 developer conference this week that its WebSphere Enterprise Edition is shipping in September.

The release of Enterprise Edition will round out IBM's family of application servers, software used by businesses to create their e-commerce Web sites by connecting clients to back-end services, such as databases.

IBM previously released the low-end Standard Edition for Web site developers and the midrange Advanced Edition, which supports the Corba and Enterprise JavaBeans programming models. The new Enterprise Edition marries the WebSphere Advanced Edition with IBM's transaction processing software TXSeries and a new version of IBM's middleware tool Component Broker.

The high-end app server is aimed at large corporations who need good security, fast transaction processing for their applications, said John Swainson, IBM's vice president of application development solutions.

Analyst Sally Cusack, of International Data Corporation, said IBM should be applauded because combining WebSphere Advanced Edition with TXSeries and Component Broker was a difficult task.

"That's complex code and getting it to all work together is not that easy," she said. "Considering the scope of what they had to do, they accomplished it well."

Enterprise Edition will cost $35,000 per server. It will support Sun Solaris, Windows NT, AIX, and OS/390, as well as support for HP-UX next year.