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Lotus gives go-ahead to Web firms

Lotus will release two new Web servers, designed as starter products for companies eager to get on the Web.

    CHICAGO--Lotus, a unit of IBM (IBM), will release two new Web servers in its Lotus Go family next month, designed as starter products for companies eager to get on the Web.

    Lotus Go Webserver 4.6, priced at $495, is designed as a basic HTTP publishing server. It competes against Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS), Netscape's Enterprise Server, and freeware Apache Web server.

    Lotus Go Webserver Pro 4.6, priced at $795, also bundles NetObjects Fusion authoring software and Lotus BeanMachine, software that allows nonprogrammers to create simple JavaBeans. The Pro edition, designed for creating Web content, is available for Windows 95 and Windows NT, but Web pages authored on Pro edition can be deployed on other platforms.

    Both Go products include a built-in proxy server, a separate offering in the Microsoft and Netsape product lines. Other Go security features include support for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) version 3 and the ability to issue digital certificates for access control on a corporate intranets.

    Don Harbison, Lotus business development manager, identified three markets for Go Server: firms that want to start simple and grow fast, IT managers eager to tap data in enterprise applications through Web servers, and firms that want a supported product, not freeware, and a clear upgrade path.

    The upgrade path for both Go Webservers is to the Domino family, including Mail Server, which adds messaging, calendaring, scheduling, and discussion forms to the basic Web server functions, and Domino Server for enterprise integration, mobile user support, and custom business applications.

    The Domino family is a Web-enabled version of Lotus Notes, once the company's flagship product.