Inprise has outlined its strategy to try and make its mark in the emerging application service provider (ASP) market.
The middleware and development tools supplier plans to create an Appservices portal that will provide users with a place to come for third party ASP services. It will also include communication, collaboration and productivity applications such as calendaring packages and messaging forums.
Appservices will be based on three software layers. The first, dubbed a "user layer," provides a single point of entry for customers and a universal registration system for them to access applications offered by the different ASPs.
The second, a "transport layer," will enable users to access ASP hosted applications from different types of devices using a browser, while the third, the "messaging layer," will enable different ASP based applications to communicate with one another.
George Macintyre, Inprise's senior vice president of corporate strategy, said: "You'll see our entire product line cranked up one notch."
Rivals in this emerging market include Microsoft, IBM and the Sun-Netscape Alliance, which are all competing for a slice of the action. The sector is expected to be worth more than $2 billion by 2002, up from $150 million in 1999, according to IDC.
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