Active Software Inc. will update its enterprise application integration product with features that will help companies form supply-chain links to partners and customers.
Though the company's ActiveWorks product--formerly called the Active Integration System--has been able to tie together disparate applications, until this release those capabilities have been limited to within the organization. ActiveWorks 3.0 will let companies connect their business processes to their supply-chain partners over the Internet and automatically update each other's systems, regardless of application. "The real buzz in supply chain these days is linking scheduling and manufacturing data with your suppliers," says Paul Koenig, Active Software VP of product marketing and business development.
The cross-company linking is made possible by the new version's Multi-Broker option. The Information Broker, the core module in the existing product, decides where data should be directed within a company. The Multi-Broker option places brokers within business partners, so that information passed over the Internet can be directed to the correct applications. The information is transferred directly as part of a business process rather than utilizing more-cumbersome batch transfer methods. The Multi-Broker option can also be used internally to transfer information across departments, organizations, and geographies; the more brokers there are, the more capacity the integrated system has.
ActiveWorks will have new failover features, which are utilized by placing Information Brokers on Sun Microsystems server clusters. That ensures the application integration system will have improved uptime. The company has developed an administrative application programming interface that lets companies connect ActiveWorks to management tools from companies such as Tivoli Systems and Computer Associates. The new version will also include new data adapters for environments such as Java, Oracle, Sybase, Informix, and Clarify.
The new version will be available in December, starting at $50,000. In addition to Sun Solaris, the software will be available on Windows NT and HP-UX.