IBM takes federal approach

IBM takes federal approach

By Paul Montgomery

IBM has released a portal product which could possibly subvert the knowledge management efforts of its own subsidiary, Lotus Development.

The IBM Enterprise Information Portal was released late last November in the US despite Lotus' forthcoming Raven application, scheduled for release in the first half of the year, being labelled as a "knowledge portal" by Lotus executives (see Image & Data Manager, November/December 1999, page 4).

IBM's explanation of this is that although both IBM and Lotus portals were built on the same technical architecture, Raven is only intended "to manage personal and community information and activities".

The EIP application has been built on many existing IBM technologies.

The EIP application has been built on many existing IBM technologies, including a "unifying access mechanism" used in its EDMSuite document management application called ContentConnect.

The DB2 Universal Database acts as the repository for either structured or unstructured data, although the portal can be integrated with heterogeneous networks of multi-vendor relational databases. Unstructured documents ranging from text to full-motion video can be stored in the DB2 Digital Library, which "integrates the technologies of information capture, storage management, search/retrieval, and secure distribution multimedia applications into a single offering", according to the company.

"Federated" searches can be made across not only IBM's proprietary databases, but also Web sources, spreadsheets, e-mail, audio and video XML/HTML applications, and others.

For developers, custom-built components can be built using Java Beans, ActiveX controls or C++ APIs.

The IBM release was supported by rival portal vendors Brio and Cognos, among others.