IBM Teams with Macromedia to Promote WebSphere to Developers

A new agreement between IBM and Macromedia Inc. (San Francisco) will integrate the Web’s most popular development tools with IBM’s Web development and deployment platform.

IBM's goal is to convert 5 million Web developers to WebSphere in the year 2000.
“What this will give users is a seamless development environment between the tools they’re using to build these applications and the application server,” said Mike Bergeron, VP of business development for Macromedia. “This agreement fits into our overall strategic direction which is to make available to our customers server-side products for building complex Web sites.”

The multi-year alliance, which will remain in effect for an undetermined amount of time, includes plans for product bundling, product integration and joint marketing programs. Under the terms of the agreement, IBM will include Macromedia’s LikeMinds Personalization Server as an integrated component in future releases of WebSphere products, including WebSphere Commerce Suite. LikeMinds Personalization Server provides collaborative filtering technology to monitor and apply customer history and preferences, as well as the ability to monitor a user community. It also helps to simplify the development process by eliminating a lot of the need for rules establishment.

“LikeMinds offers features that we find very interesting and a technology that provides some great additional personalization technology to complement our solutions,” said Valerie Olague, director of product marketing for IBM business transformation.

Similarly, the second aspect of the development agreement stipulates that Macromedia will bundle WebSphere Application Server with its market-leading developer tools, such as Dreamweaver, Dreamweaver UltraDev, Flash and Shockwave. The Dreamweaver development tools claim approximately 70 percent market share, and Flash, a tool for creating multimedia Web sites, is installed on more than 90 percent of desktops. Olague said IBM views this alliance as key to IBM’s ability to open up new markets, with an eye on the company’s year 2000 goal of converting 5 million Web developers, or about half the potential market, to the WebSphere server. According to Olague, approximately one million new developers have signed on with WebSphere since the effort began.

“We’ve been more and more focused on filling out this platform by focusing on the higher-level capabilities,” Olague said. “This year I’ve set a focused goal to really attract a large number of developers to my platform. They’re giving me a very broad reach in terms of getting new developers.”

In addition to joint marketing, Macromedia and IBM will also engage in joint development for extension and further integration of the products. For instance, the agreement now makes it possible to bring LikeMinds to the AIX platform for the first time, according to Bergeron. Olague added that while the initial focus of the marketing and development alliance is to provide solutions for AIX and Windows NT, there are plans to eventually bring LikeMinds to OS/400 as well.

Bergeron said he hopes the prestige and credibility associated with the IBM alliance will also give Macromedia an opportunity to reach new markets, especially IBM’s customers who operate on an enterprise-scale.

“What we’re really getting is a strong endorsement from IBM for their enterprise-level customers,” Bergeron said.

Related Editorial:

  • WebSphere Payment Manager Adds AS/400 Support

    Related Information:

  • Macromedia Inc. (new window)
  • IBM WebSphere Page (new window)