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Product Brief: TIBCO ActivePortal 4.0

TIBCO ActivePortal is a user-integration platform that provides employees, customers, and partners of an organization with web-based access to its data, business, and computing resources. Version 4.0 adds functionality to ActivePortal that includes Web Services support and portal integration with TIBCO's workflow and business process management (BPM) functionality.


Market Commentary
TIBCO ActivePortal 4.0 -- Bringing Web Services and Integrated Workflow to the Portal

On April 15, 2002, TIBCO Software announced version 4.0 of its TIBCO ActivePortal product line. TIBCO ActivePortal is a user-integration platform that provides employees, customers, and partners of an organization with Web-based access to its data, business, and computing resources. Version 4.0 adds functionality to ActivePortal that includes Web services support and portal integration with TIBCO's workflow and business process management (BPM) functionality.

TIBCO ActivePortal 4.0 includes the following key features:

Web services support. ActivePortal 4.0 can convert standards-based Web services into viewable portal content and interfaces. Additionally, ActivePortal can convert its own content and services into Web services.

Interface into business processes. ActivePortal supports the routing and delivery of tasks and exception notifications. ActivePortal 4.0 also enables the event-driven delivery of alert notifications to Web and wireless devices.

Integrated search and content management capabilities. ActivePortal includes Verity's search engine and TIBCO's native content publishing system.

Collaboration services. ActivePortal includes a range of services that enable workgroup collaboration.

THE HURWITZ TAKE: TIBCO is an organization best known for its success in the real-time delivery of applications, business integration, messaging, and business process management (BPM) solutions. ActivePortal, TIBCO's enterprise information portal (EIP), is designed to provide personalized Web-based access to organizations' business systems. Targeted at the enterprise, ActivePortal 4.0 introduces a number of new features that will increase not only the use of the portal, but will also make available to the business user the back-end TIBCO resources and expertise found in TIBCO's application integration, workflow, and BPM products.

ActivePortal 4.0 includes support for Web services, integrated workflow, collaboration services, integrated search, and content management functionality. Hurwitz Group believes that the inclusion of these features sets, especially the integrated workflow and collaboration tools, are absolute must-haves for the EIP market moving forward. Organizations will increasingly expect and demand that integrated workflow, business process management, and collaboration are check box features included in the default portal offering.

The inclusion of Web services into the mix is slowly becoming an expected piece of a packaged EIP; however, the specific services provided by this feature are still being defined, as is the entirety of the Web services market space. ActivePortal's complete package of a standards-based framework, common portal environment, integrated workflow, application integration, integrated workflow, collaboration, and Web services delivered in near real-time to the business end-user provide a compelling and complete offering in the constantly expanding EIP space.

Hurwitz Group believes that the convergence of BPM and portal with the goal of improved management of content and transactions for business users is a positive advancement. Additionally, the application of a business interface upon the horizontal underpinning that is BPM represent another value of this convergence. Hurwitz Group research shows that few enterprises use BPM outside of IT and many portals lack the integration infrastructure underneath them to be fully trusted by IT.

ActivePortal 4.0 is an attractive EIP offering for large portal installations or implementations looking to deliver not simply a web front-end to resources, but to also deliver the underlying BPM and application integration services to the desktop. Also, as IT departments become more dynamic with Web services these services will need to be better coordinated through BPM and presented through personalized access via the portal. This is a strong synergy for TIBCO and these types of maturing product convergences spearheaded by TIBCO should help raise the visibility and application of ActivePortal.


Copyright 2002 Hurwitz Group Inc. This article is excerpted from TrendWatch, a weekly publication of Hurwitz Group Inc. - an analyst, research, and consulting firm. To register for a free email subscription, click here.

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