iPlanet, the Sun Microsystems/Netscape alliance, has launched what it claims is the first ecommerce platform to link standard software components with web services. It is aimed squarely at Microsoft's new .Net strategy.
Called the Internet Service Deployment Platform (ISDP), it combines standard software components - such as Java 2 Enterprise Edition, lightweight directory access protocol, internet messaging application protocol and wireless markup language - with various internet technologies into an ebusiness platform.
The platform consists of four service layers which include portals, communications, web application integration and unified user management. The layers sit on top of a company's systems and network infrastructures, and consist of integrated iPlanet technology and other third-party products.
Stuart Wells, iPlanet's senior vice president, said ISDP differs from Microsoft's .Net platform because it supports standard application programming interfaces and protocols.
"We're building on a predominantly Java-based platform with the ability to construct a marketplace with hundreds of thousands of users. Our platform is more scalable and reliable," he said, adding that ISDP runs 35 times faster than Active Directory, and supports multiple operating systems as well as Microsoft NT.
iPlanet, which predicts that the ecommerce platform market will be worth $100bn by 2010, will target the environment at large international companies and small to medium sized enterprises via service providers. The company has also won support from a number of third parties for the platform including Andersen Consulting, BMC Software, Ernst & Young and IBM.
Rikki Kirzner, an analyst at researcher IDC, said: "There are only a handful of large vendors, including iPlanet, that will be capable of creating closed loop ebusiness platforms to address corporate requirements for full service, fully integrated ebusiness infrastructure. This type of comprehensive ebusiness infrastructure will serve as the backbone for ecommerce businesses now and in the coming years."
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