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Vignette to acquire portal maker

Software maker Vignette said Tuesday that it would buy Epicentric, a privately held business applications company, for $32 million in cash and stock. Vignette expects the purchase to help it expand its product line into the so-called business portal market.

Epicentric makes software that lets companies make private Web sites where employees, customers and other business partners can get personalized information, such as the number of vacation days they have or the status of a particular order. Business portals can also be interactive, allowing customers to place orders online, for instance.