New webMethods Portal Release to Accelerate Composite Application Development

Product Can Reduce Application Assembly Costs by 30-50 Percent

London, United Kingdom – March 17, 2005 – webMethods, Inc. (Nasdaq: WEBM), a leading business integration software company, today announced a new release of webMethods Portal™. A key component of the webMethods Fabric™ business integration suite, webMethods Portal 6.2 greatly accelerates the speed at which companies can assemble and deploy composite applications. The product also allows for role-based personalisation, and can help significantly reduce application assembly costs, key factors industry experts say should be taken into account when selecting a portal product.

"webMethods Portal truly helps IT to be strategically aligned with the business," said Kristin Weller Muhlner, executive vice president, Product Development for webMethods. "Our customers estimate that developing composite applications using webMethods Portal costs roughly 30 to 50 percent less than traditional software development methods. The 6.2 release of Portal is a prime example of webMethods’ strong commitment to provide our customers with the best business productivity tools in the market."

Emergis, a leading North American eBusiness company with solutions targeting the insurance, financial, health care and government sectors, has used webMethods Portal to offer their health care provider community a one-stop website to submit claims, bills, and treatment plans. webMethods Portal’s composite application framework allowed Emergis to streamline access to multiple Web applications via a single interface and enhance overall user experience via additional portlets that serve up industry news, FAQs and help information.

"We learned we can easily reuse the composite application framework and the knowledge gained, and our actual development lifecycle has shrunk as a result of this," said David Denov, Project Manager at Emergis. "One architect can quickly design and prototype a new project within a few weeks, not months, and can start construction with one or two developers immediately – all with an expected end date well short of what we have previously experienced. Overall, project timelines have been reduced significantly. We have experienced savings in both time and budget."

webMethods Portal 6.2 builds upon the rich features and capabilities delivered in previous versions with enhanced composite application development tools, improved role-based personalization services, expanded standards support, more robust administration and management, richer out-of-the-box document management and collaboration capabilities, and support for the industry-leading Eclipse IDE.

Selected new features and benefits in webMethods Portal 6.2 include:

- Rapid Application Assembly – The Portlet Developer can quickly discover services managed by webMethods Fabric, automatically expose their interfaces within portlets without custom programming, and assemble them into a composite application, accelerating the process of composite application development.

- Graphical User Interface (GUI)-Based Form Builder – The new Form Builder offers a drag-and-drop interface to build a Web form within a portlet project, preview its runtime interface, bind to a forms processor, and assemble it into a larger composite application or business process. This further speed up development of forms-based portlets and composite applications that utilize them.

- Cross-Directory Role Support – Roles can now be defined and populated from multiple underlying directory services such as Microsoft Active Directory or an LDAP Server, allowing for a wider range of personalization options. Personalized access to relevant information and role-based participation in business processes eliminates redundancies, breaks down silos, and promotes contextual and holistic views of business situations, which leads to significant improvements in efficiency, customer satisfaction, and decision making capabilities.

- Portal Interoperability – webMethods continues its commitment to open standards and portal interoperability with expanded support for JSR 168 and WSRP. Because customers may have other portal infrastructure, support for these standards maximizes existing investments by allowing developers to build new portal-based composite applications from existing portal components, regardless of what portal platform they are hosted on.

- Security Realms – Security Realms are a flexible model for applying a consistent set of permissions and access controls based on users, groups, or roles – making it easier to secure large portal deployments and portal-based composite applications and comply with corporate governances and regulatory requirements. It also eases the administrative burden for already stretched IT resources and helps to lower the total cost of ownership.

- Single Sign-On via SAML – webMethods Portal 6.2 now supports the SAML standard, an XML-based framework for the exchange of security information. This allows a portal to be configured for single sign-on with any other application that conforms to the SAML standard. This improves user productivity by reducing the number of logins needed for each application and provides a consistent approach for IT to manage single sign-on across the entire enterprise.

Further benefits are realised when webMethods Portal is used in combination with other capabilities of the webMethods Fabric product suite. webMethods Fabric’s service-oriented architecture (SOA) and ability to integrate with a broad range of legacy systems and interfaces enables the rapid creation of standardised business services. These services can easily be incorporated into portal-based composite applications, thereby extending the life of IT investments and promoting the reuse and repurposing of existing information, applications, and related assets. In addition, webMethods Portal provides an interface to allow initiation and participation in the business processes and workflows that are managed by webMethods Fabric. Finally, the key business performance indicators monitored by webMethods Fabric can be exposed to the users at the appropriate level via webMethods Portal’s rich role-based personalisation capabilities.

webMethods Portal 6.2 is now generally available.

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