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IBM To Update Portal With Document Management, Collaboration Technology

IBM Monday unveiled an upcoming version of its WebSphere portal that the company says has new capabilities for document management and collaboration.

WebSphere Portal Version 5 will feature new functionality that allows solution providers to aggregate content from various back-end resources--such as human resources, CRM or supply chain applications--to a single portal, according to IBM.

The new software also will include out-of-the-box document management tools that allow solution providers to integrate and manage information, such as a company's financial reports or sales documents, within the portal, IBM executives said. At the same time, the document management tools also will allow end users to view, create, convert and edit basic documents, spreadsheets and other files while working within the portal.

In addition, WebSphere Portal Version 5 will include a new Collaboration Center, which leverages IBM Lotus software to allow portal users to interact with various collaborative applications, such as instant messaging, team workplaces and virtual meetings.

Other new features in Version 5 include performance enhancements and a simplified installation process, according to IBM.

The new portal is slated to be available Aug. 21. Express and Express Plus versions--IBM's configurations targeted at small and midsize businesses--also will be available at that time, the company said. However, the Express version does not include the Collaboration Center.

Pricing for the enterprise version starts at $89,186 per CPU, including one year of maintenance fees. WebSphere Portal Express is available with user-based licensing of $85 per user, with a limit of 2,000 users per portal. CPU-based licensing for WebSphere Portal Express is $33,300 per processor, with a limit of 4 processors per portal. Express Plus costs either $135 per user with a limit of 2,000 users per portal, or $53,080 per CPU with a limit of 4 processors per portal server.

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