IBM Debuts Web 2.0, Collaborative Technologies
IBM has unveiled several new collaboration tools and Web 2.0 technologies, including IBM Lotus Mashups, a forthcoming commercial mashup maker designed to allow "non-technical users to easily create enterprise mashups." At the Lotusphere conference in Florida last Wednesday, the company also introduced new versions of Lotus Connections and Lotus Quickr, a rich collaboration tool.
IBM Lotus Mashups, which is expected to be released later this year (although no firm date has been set), provides a browser-based tool for assembling mashups blending enterprise and Web-based data. It includes a set of pre-defined widgets, a "catalog" for locating usable widgets and mashups, and a tool that allows users to build widgets that access enterprise data.
IBM also said it plans to release Lotus Connections 2.0 in the first half of this year. Lotus Connections 2.0 is the next version of IBM's social networking tool that includes several new features, including a new homepage that filters Lotus Connections services, aggregates content, and provides support for drag and drop widgets. The software's community component is also expected to receive an overhaul in the areas of discussion forums, unified communications via integration with Lotus Sametime, and linking to wiki services through Lotus Quickr, SocialText, and Atlassian.
Finally, IBM also announced a planned update to Lotus Quickr, a Web- and desktop-based collaboration environment. The next release, version 8.1, will include "content libraries, team discussion forums, blogs, wikis, and other connectors that make sharing information easier," according to IBM. The company said it also plans to add features to Quickr that will allow it to integrate with IBM FileNet P8 and IBM Content Manager. It will also launch a companion application, Lotus Quickr Entry, that will include personal file sharing capabilities.
Lotus Quickr 8.1 is expected to be released in March.