Software Spotlight

Integrated Collaborative Environment Leverages Web 2.0

Here's a bit of trivia for your next high-tech happy hour: A "nog" (in addition to being a Christmas favorite) is a wooden block built into a masonry wall so that joinery structure can be nailed to it. For the founders of Piscataway, N.J.-based startup Bluenog this obscure bit of carpentry nomenclature was the perfect metaphor for an integrated software suite that includes a content management system (CMS), rich portal features and business intelligence (BI) capabilities.

"It's a peg that hold infrastructure together," said Scott Barnett, Bluenog co-founder and COO. "Which is a perfect descriptor. We settled on 'blue' mainly because the domain was available. And hey, who doesn't like blue?"

The company launched its flagship product last week. Bluenog ICE (for Integrated Collaborative Environment) is a commercial product based on open source technologies. It leverages well-known OSS projects such as Eclipse and Apache, and more obscure projects such as the Cocoon Spring-based publishing framework, and the Lucene Java-based text search engine library.

"Companies are looking to leverage open source and complement their existing legacy with it, as a way to do the things they want and need to do on extremely tight budgets," Barnett told ADTmag.com. "But they want the support -- the indemnification; 9-by-5, 24-by-7 support; updates; upgrades -- that's where pure open source falls short. Without that one throat to choke when thing go wrong, enterprises are reluctant to go with an open source solution."

Formerly known as the Bluenog Platform, ICE 4.0 combines three modules: Bluenog CMS and Bluenog RichPortal, both of which have been available since last year, and Bluenog BI, which is a new addition to the suite. The CMS is an enterprise content management (ECM) system for creating, publishing and managing content for the Web, print and enterprise apps. The portal component is actually a rich Internet application (RIA) portal development environment. And the new BI piece is designed for non-technical users who need to design and distribute reports based on data stored throughout an organization.

Built on the company's ICE Framework, Bluenog ICE also comes with an Eclipse IDE to provide developers with a unified security model.

The suite runs on the top app servers (JBoss, Tomcat, WebLogic and WebSphere), works with the most popular databases (DB2, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL and SQL Server), and plays with the leading development frameworks (J2EE, PHP, PERL and other scripting languages).

"We had the idea of combining these three components into a unified suite when we started the company," Barnett said. "It takes some time to get these things right, but we think the addition of the BI component, which our customers were clamoring for, gets us there."

Founded two-and-a-half years ago, Bluenog has kept a fairly low profile as it worked on its products. The company's three founders are former employees of BEA Systems (which was acquired by Oracle): CEO Suresh Kuppusamy was BEA's solutions architect for the Eastern Region, CIO Sastry Taruvai was a technical architect at the company and Barnett was a senior sales executive.

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