At an IBM software strategy briefing today in San Francisco, Lotus announced a new family of Web servers that bring a buy-what-you-need approach to the company's server software lineup.
The new Web server software, code-named Lotus Go, includes a set of options that can be combined to build applications that run the gamut from low-end groupware for small businesses, to sophisticated e-commerce packages for large companies.
Lotus has positioned Go as a base Web server package that can be combined with new messaging and transaction software or the company's existing database software and Domino Web-enabled groupware package. Domino, introduced last December, combines the company's Notes groupware with tools to transform Notes databases for Web use.
The new products include:
The base Go server can be combined with any of the server packages. Lotus did not announce pricing for the software.
The new software lineup may make Lotus's groupware more appealing to smaller businesses, said Tom Austin, an analyst with Gartner Group. He added that Lotus is rapidly becoming "a critical component supplier to IBM" on the Internet front.
But the new software may also cloud Lotus' already confusing product lineup. "It broadens their potential appeal," Austin said of the Go announcement. "Although, it might confuse their existing customers."
The company also introduced new development packages:
The company has also put a variety of IBM and Lotus connecting technology in one place to help developers tie together their back-end and online databases. The development tool packages are bundled with Lotus Domino.Connect, software that provides a way for Notes data to be accessed via corporate intranets and the Net; IBM CICS Gateway for Java, IBM Net.Data for Web-enabled database requirements, and IBM eNetwork Host On-Demand connectivity software.