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Sybase To Unleash SMB-Aimed Portals

Sybase this week plans to unveil a new version of its portal that includes two low-cost configurations aimed at the SMB market.

Until now, Sybase offered only an enterprise version of its portal product priced at $85,000 per CPU, said Haridas Nair, director of product management and marketing at Sybase.

With Enterprise Portal 5, Sybase also is offering an information version and an application version at lower price points so companies can use it for smaller implementations, Nair said.

While Sybase hasn't solidified final pricing for the new configurations, Nair said the lowest-priced version of Enterprise Portal 5 will be available for less than $10,000 per CPU.

All of the new editions of Enterprise Portal 5 will support BEA WebLogic and IBM WebSphere Java-based application servers, as well as EAServer, Sybase's own app server, Nair said. They are slated to be available at the end of October, he said.

With the information edition, solution providers can aggregate and consolidate multiple Web sites into one portal, Nair said. The application edition is slated to include a J2EE 1.3-compliant application server for more high-level app development.

All of the versions are focused on making it easier for business developers to build portlets without significant help from an IT department, Nair said.

"The [portal space is really ugly right now," said David Chao, vice president of sales and marketing at Greenwood Village, Colo.-based solution provider Navidec. "I think people are doing whatever they can to [sell portals at this point," he said. "Anyone offering a low price point is thinking in reality terms."

Sybase isn't a leading player in the portal market, said Brian Donough, a research manager at IDC. But the company's new pricing is a smart move as the portal market becomes oversaturated, with growth for leaders like Plumtree Software and Computer Associates International leveling off, and minor players dropping out of the race entirely, he said.

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