IBM Corp. is expanding its WebSphere software products and development tools to enable customers to build and deploy more sophisticated Web services applications. Web services allows companies to use open standards to compose and integrate business applications regardless of the computing platforms and programming languages involved. With the new configurations of IBM's WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Studio development tools, users will be able to create new applications by combining existing Web services, Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition applications and other tools in a logical flow, Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM says.

Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition is a platform-independent, Java-centric environment from Sun Microsystems Inc. for developing, building and deploying Web-based enterprise applications online. The J2EE platform consists of a set of services, application program interfaces and protocols that provide the functionality for developing multitiered, Web-based applications.

Companies will have a complete infrastructure to implement Web services technology internally, and can use the same technology to integrate with customers and business partners, IBM notes. The WebSphere Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) registry, integrated within the WebSphere infrastructure software, is designed to enable organizations to search for and aggregate resources across multiple applications and divisions so they can develop Web services applications to use within or outside the organization.

WebSphere Application Server, Enterprise Edition v4.1, is available at $35,000 per processor. A new configuration of WebSphere Studio, an integrated application development platform that provides a common set of technologies for adding features as plug-in components, is priced at $5,999.

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