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Software plays traffic cop, cheaply

Net.Genesis will offer affordable Web tracking software for smaller publishers.

Net.Genesis on Monday will unveil a new version of its Web traffic tracking and analysis software in an effort to attract smaller publishers who want to monitor their sites more closely but don't want to spend a lot of money to do it.

Net.Analysis Desktop 1.1 is designed as an affordable stand-alone version of the company's Net.Analysis 1.0, a more powerful client-server package that runs on Sun Microsystems' Solaris operating system for servers and Unix, Windows NT, and Windows 95 clients. Net.Analysis Desktop will run only on Windows NT and Windows 95, a growing part of the Web server market.

"We are lowering the barrier to entry into the Web site analysis market," Rajat Bhargava, Net.Genesis president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.

The product is positioned as a "starter solution" for both corporate customers, particularly those with new sites or with existing sites that are using freeware or shareware tracking devices, and for small Web site developers and consultants who manage servers and content for their customers.

Net.Analysis Desktop 1.1 will ship this month and cost $295 per license. It will track the volume of Web site activity, identify types of visiting users, and determine where they are coming from. The high-end software costs $3,000 and adds detailed reporting tools.

Net.Analysis Desktop 1.1 will compete with similar low-end offerings from Interse, which charges $695 for its Market Focus 2 standard edition, and from e.g. Software, which sells its WebTrends package for $295.

Several other companies track Web-site traffic for companies as a service, including Internet Profiles, NetCount, and Market Arts WebFacts, formerly called WebTrack.

Net.Genesis, founded by a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates, develops Web management tools and applications. It also makes Net.Thread, a database connectivity product that eliminates the need for CGI scripts, and Net.Form software for making filling out Web forms easier.

A free copy of the new software can be downloaded from Net.Genesis' Web site for the next 30 days.