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New server for e-commerce

Boston start-up Art Technology is set to begin shipping the next version of its customer management server for e-commerce applications.

Boston start-up Art Technology Group is set to begin shipping the next version of its customer management server for e-commerce applications.

The company's Dynamo Personalization Server 4.0 is used to keep track of customer profiles for e-commerce Web sites, said company executives.

The software provides high-end corporate e-commerce processes with a system for personalizing the customer's experience when they come to a Web site, ATG chief executive Jeet Singh said.

With the Java-based server, Art Technology can track the performance of other servers and the Java code that is being delivered to users, manage server load and failover, and track database performance.

Companies can integrate, manage, and modify the rules through a single interface. For example, the server tracks customer relationships and allow administrators to establish rules and thresholds for warnings about various site activities.

The server includes a new personalization control center, or PCC, which provides a single control for setting up content, selecting users or market segments to track, and establishing the targeting characteristics that link them.

With the PCC, companies can establish, manage, and modify the way content gets matched to people, as well as understand patterns of user activity. In addition, logging of "significant" events is tracked and can be used to develop new business policies.

Although monitoring customer data is not necessary to run every e-commerce site, analysts believe that there is a rising need for this type of information.

Still, all this information doesn't guarantee a sucessful e-commerce site, said Giga Information Group analyst Erica Rugullies. "It can be very expensive. And it collects a lot of data. It depends on what the online merchant wants to build."

Industry observers believe that the primary reason companies are acquiring and using Dynamo-like technologies is that the cost of using traditional ways of getting new customers and keeping old ones is too high. As a result, companies are looking for ways to improve customer relations so that they return and purchase more goods.

Singh said his prime competitor in this growing market is e-commerce software maker BroadVision.

Dynamo Personalization Server is priced between $10,000 and $60,000, depending on server size. ATG also makes the Dynamo Retail Station, a storefront system, and the Dynamo Ad Station, its advertising management package. Together with the Dynamo Personalization Server, the products make up the Dynamo Relationship Commerce suite.