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December 2, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Active Software Inc was in London yesterday to talk up the Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) market. The company, which sees itself as the leader in the field, released its flagship software package, ActiveWorks 3.0 (CI No 3,530) in Europe and opened two new offices, one in London, one in Amsterdam – its first major push into the European market. Jim Green, Active chairman & CEO, sees the enterprise-wide move towards off-the-peg, packaged applications as one of the major drivers in the EAI business. Green claims that as more and more companies implement front and back office applications, they will increasingly look towards EAI suites as the ‘glue’ which will allow these systems to interface. The other option for companies is to work with systems integrators on developing custom integration routines. Green says that the ActiveWorks suite can be provided with over 30 adapters – interfacing components that include PeopleSoft, SAP, IBM MQseries and Corba, Com links. He also sees e-commerce as another business driver, as well as the year 2000 problems and EMU currency issues in Europe. The company strategy for European growth is to work with software partners such as Vantive Corp (CI No 3,482) and IBM Corp, and systems integrators like Cambridge Technology Partners and KPMG on evangelizing their product. The company sees its potential customers in Europe as ‘top 500’ companies, and it claims to have several deals in the pipeline. In the US, it has struck deals with the Defense Department, Boeing and Starbucks Coffee. However, the company is not worried that it will suffer if the market becomes more mid-range orientated, in the way that the enterprise resource planning software sector has of late. Green says that this is because ActiveWorks is a modular suite. The core of the suite is the information broker, which controls all the two-way calls between the disparate applications that ActiveWorks is intended to link. It also has a security element and the directory contains authentication and authorization routines which can block or allow only limited access to unauthorized users. The suite also contains developers and network admin tools. The number of adapters included in the package is up to the customer, Active claims that the smaller user may only require 5, the larger up to 25. The typical cost of an ActiveWorks 3.0 package is $60,000, the suite will available Europe-wide from December 17.


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