Lotus links to Web services

Lotus links to Web services

During its annual gathering of partners and customers at Lotusphere in Orlando, next week, Lotus Software Group plans to further its Web services strategy with tighter links between Domino and WebSphere and to move to embed collaboration components in other applications.

Riding the tide of Web services and the gravitational pull toward parent company IBM, Lotus is shifting from a product company to a componentised services organisation leaning more on IBM's vast channel and global services organization, said Dana Gardner, research director at Aberdeen Group.

"If you are an IBM shop you'll start to see the ability to use Lotus services and components without having to master the Lotus platform. You'll see it more tightly integrated into a bundled offering for hosted types of activities," Gardner said.

At the show, Lotus plans to detail the closer ties between Domino and WebSphere, including common infrastructure bonds and technology bundling. Lotus' announcement will also prepare users and partners for contextual collaboration, an emerging idea in which collaboration functions in Lotus products such as Sametime and QuickPlace are embedded as elements of other applications such as ERP and CRM, said Scott Cooper, vice president of Lotus Solutions' business unit.

"You'll see how our technologies will play in the world of collaboration, not as just an environment you go to for e-mail and meetings but something that is more of an embedded function in many different applications," Cooper said.

Lotus plans to rebuild and restructure its collaboration technologies around Web services by, for example, adding support for standards such as SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration) and making significant changes to the design, packaging, and pricing of Lotus products, Cooper said.

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