CA Courts Portal Marketplace
Over thepast year, major infrastructure vendors have been concentrating on putting upWeb front ends as ways to bundle delivery of backend applications. Productssuch as Microsoft's Digital Dashboard, IBM's Enterprise Information Portal, andOracle Portal are intended to serve as gateways to these vendors' databases.
Leveragingtechnology acquired last year, Computer Associates is shipping a portal thatfront ends its Jasmine ii e-business application server. Appropriately dubbedJasmine ii Portal, the solution is built on Eureka:Portal, an portal originallyoffered by Sterling Software before CA acquired the company in early 2000.
Jasmine ii,which supports leading standards such as COM/COM+, CORBA, Enterprise JavaBeans,and XML, is a conglomeration of technologies, including application server,relational database, messaging system, publish-and-subscribe engine, andtransaction server, says Yogesh Gupta, CA's chief technology officer."Jasmine ii is the first integrated e-business platform that supplies everythingneeded to build and integrate Java-based applications," he says. Theplatform "provides complete delivery of information to the Jasmine iiportal. I can do all of the work that I need to do, customized to me, in abrowser. The portal is a front end to the back end, which are Jasmine iiapplications."
The portalalso integrates with existing security technologies, including LDAP-basedtools. The portal supports a full range of desktops and mobile, hand-helddevices equipped with Java. The Jasmine ii portal also will access Microsoft’sOffice applications, along with corporate intranets.
The portalemploys CA's Neugents ii predictive intelligence technology. "Neugents areself-learning systems," Gupta explains. "Neugents apply neuralnetwork technology to recognize extremely complex patterns in extremely complexenvironments." With Neugents, the portal can deliver dynamicpersonalization based on the usage patterns of individuals or groups, or"push" relevant information to specific users, based on click streamanalysis and user profiling.
The valueproposition of portals will increase as pressures grow on IT executives andorganizations to justify the value of IT investments. "Portals are neitherthe problem nor the solution," states Michael Dortch, principal researchanalyst at Robert Frances Group. "But they have great potential to addressthese challenges." He notes that both enterprise information ande-commerce portals must be "interoperable with other key IT deployments,from business intelligence and data warehouses, to system and assetmanagement." He warns, however, that "no user or vendor can do it allalone."
SinceJasmine portal is offered by a large infrastructure vendor, Dortch categorizesthe product as "a leading candidate for IT executives seeking to build andrun portals that are both technologically elegant and powerful businesstools." He adds that IT executives "should tread warily aroundportal-only vendors," since they offer only limited solutions and havelittle expertise in enterprise IT and e-business issues. "Vendors such asCA, IBM, and Oracle may offer portal offerings that are moreenterprise-class."
Beta usersof Jasmine ii Portal report creative solutions that leverage the Jasmine portalproduct. One end-user organization, the Utah State Court System, reports it wasable to eliminate the need for two full-time equivalent employees through useof the portal. The portal deployment, which offers judges and courtadministrators personalized views of their cases, has streamlined informationdelivery, says Robert Turner, management analyst with Utah State Court System."Our court system hinges on free, yet secure, availability of informationfor a variety of users," he explains. "Because of inadequate tools,we were really doing things the hard way. Now, users can simply open their'newspage' or go to a certain channel and access the resources they need."
The newportal-style approach makes all of the court systems' data sources appear as asingle, integrated application to users. The result of this consolidation isbetter, faster decision-making. "Whereas we used to spend 90 percent ofour time gathering information and 10 percent analyzing it, now the ratio isreversed," Turner says.
ComputerAssociates International Inc.,Islandia, N.Y., www.ca.com
RobertFrances Group Inc.,Westport, Conn., www.rfgonline.com
UtahState Court System, SaltLake City, courtlink.utcourts.gov