IBM is to link nearly 4,000 Google Gadgets to its WebSphere portal in a move that lets users create mash-ups between enterprise and web-based services while maintaining it all under corporate security and management controls. IBM Portlet for Google Gadget lets users pull Google Gadgets into their network, turn them into portlets and then use them safely behind the firewall. The use of the Gadgets, which will be provided at no cost, is supported in WebSphere Portal 6.0 and WebSphere Portal Express. Google is supplying IBM with a set of APIs to foster the integration. A refresh mechanism ensures that the Gadgets are constantly updated. The Google Gadgets include services such as Maps, World Clocks, a YouTube Player, Chat and a language translator. IBM officials say users will be able to do things such as integrate Maps and customer contact applications so that when a WebSphere Portal user clicks on a customer, they are presented with a Map and directions to that customer’s location. Users will also be able to overlay Google’s traffic information service or World Clocks to display the current time in the customer’s time zone. “Once the [Gadget] has been obtained and is in place within the enterprise environment, WebSphere Portal security and administration recognise the service and manage it and keep it in the same environment as the rest of the Portal experience,” says Larry Bowden, vice president of portals and web interaction services for IBM. “We are trying to break any barriers that have been either mentally or philosophically erected between the consumer and corporate side. If there is something good on the corporate side, we can absorb it.” IBM has existing relationships with Google, including integration of Google Desktop Search with Lotus Notes and integration of Lotus Sametime instant messaging with Google Talk. Bowden says the Google Gadgets integration can go deeper into the IBM platform. “If you think of Notes 8 with its composite applications framework [and] the things we are doing in WebSphere there is no technical reasons that it cannot propagate throughout our portfolio as part of our strategy," Bowden says. Lotus Notes 8 is slated to ship mid-year. Last month, IBM/Lotus laid out a plan to integrate a number of social networking tools into the Lotus platform, reinforcing that its strategy going forward is to give user the tools to build composite applications our of reusable services. IBM also announced a search sitemap utility to improve content management. The utility includes a sitemap protocol that optimises portal content for searching by external search engines. It also features update, last modification date and publishing controls.
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