Software briefs: ezyB, HP, SAP

ezyB eases Jolt online

International soft drinks company Jolt Corporation Australia is offering its merchandise and clothing range online through eSquare's ezyB, a new system that simplifies the process of getting businesses online. The Jolt Cola Web site uses a template-based Web development system from eSquare, a South Australian e-procurement specialist. eSquare claims ezyB requires only basic computer skills to operate and allows companies to change their special offers and products easily without paying huge consulting fees. A once-only set-up fee for a Web site starts at $149 for two pages (plus $10 per month), $399 for six pages (plus $30 a month), and up to $160 a month for secure e-commerce gateway transactions.

HP may sell middleware

Oracle is in discussions with Hewlett-Packard to buy its middleware assets, which could provide a needed boost to Oracle's application server business, industry sources say. HP disclosed last week that it plans to "retire" its middleware assets as part of an effort to achieve profitability in its software group. HP officials declined to elaborate, saying the company will provide details about its strategy at a customer event later this month in Seattle. HP's middleware includes products it acquired from Bluestone Software in 2000.

SAP to simplify apps

Looking to address some long-time user concerns about its business applications, SAP AG is pushing to make its software faster, easier to use, cheaper to operate and less complex for SMEs. At its Sapphire 2002 user conference in the US last week, SAP detailed a series of upcoming products and application changes designed to simplify installation, use and management of the software. SAP also announced it will replace the user interfaces in many of its applications with new ones built around the company's browser-based and platform-independent Web Dynpro technology.