Lotus Mashups To Be Free for Academics

Part of company's plan to expand its Academic Initiative this year

IBM announced today that its commercial mashup software, Lotus Mashups, will be freely available to academic users when it's released later this year. The move is part of the company's plan to expand its Academic Initiative in 2008.

IBM Lotus Mashups, expected to be released later this year (no firm date has been set), provides a browser-based tool for assembling mashups blending enterprise and Web-based data. Lotus Mashups is designed to allow "non-technical users to easily create enterprise mashups." It includes a set of pre- defined widgets, a "catalog" for locating usable widgets and mashups, and a tool that allows users to build widgets that access enterprise data.

The company first unveiled Lotus Mashups at the Lotusphere conference in Florida in January, along with other Web 2.0 and collaborative tools, including Lotus Connections 2.0, a social networking tool, and an update to Lotus Quickr, a Web- and desktop-based collaboration environment.

IBM's Academic Initiative provides access to software, courseware and curricula, support, and discounts on hardware for colleges and universities.

IBM said it plans to expand its Academic Initiative this year, aiming for "double-digit growth" in the number of students reached over the previous year. The company said it will also increase the number of events it hosts for universities and businesses focused on open standards and middleware supporting IBM's System z and other large systems.

--David Nagel

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