Presence Online jumps to Java

Presence Online jumps to Java

Web content management software developer Presence Online has ported its Aptrix software to be compliant with Java Enterprise Edition (J2EE).

Originally developed on the Lotus Domino platform, Aptrix can now be deployed in a wider variety of platforms, such as IBM's WebSphere application server.

While Presence Online will be marketing the software for the WebSphere platform, being J2EE compliant means it can run on just about any Java platform.

"Technically, there is no reason why it can't run on another Java platform," said Presence Online director Tim Birdsall. "But from a strategy perspective, we have such strong ties with IBM it doesn't make sense to dilute that relationship."

Aptrix is a product that allows several users of a Web site to create and publish content, under the control of the site's webmaster. The product sets rules to ensure the site maintains a consistent and predictable user experience, and that data is stored for usability. It will come as a combination of any or all of three products: a Domino Platform Edition, a Java Platform Edition, and the Aptrix Connect, a product designed to connect the Java and Domino versions. "Now you can have Aptrix inside the firewall on Domino and outside the firewall on WebSphere," said Birdsall.

Birdsall said Aptrix was first developed on Domino to suit customers in the insurance and large manufacturing industries, where the Notes platform is dominant. But during IBM's Solutions conference in 1999, Birdsall realised the need to build a Java version to find wider markets. He believes many customers will now favour Aptrix over rivals such as Broadvision, Interwoven and Vignette.

Presence Online is an example of an Australian software developer starting to make its presence felt on international markets. The company has set up offices in Boston (to be near Lotus and IBM headquarters), has signed up large telecommunication and financial customers in Mexico City, and has sales operations in both Houston, Texas and Santa Monica, California. Birdsall said the company's corporate office will remain in Sydney.

Birdsall was well aware of the troubling times many Australian software developers are currently facing, but said times are tough in the software industry as a whole. "Organisations are being so careful, you need buy-in from so many more people to get a sale," he said. "What you need is the cash to deal with the extended deal-flow, and a low-overhead export strategy that takes advantage of the weak Aussie dollar."

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