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"Portlets" coming to a site near you

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Pleasanton, Calif.--Software company Documentum Inc. on Monday will unveil a wide-ranging strategy designed to enhance its reputation as an e-commerce innovator. The content management software company, which recently won a major contract from automotive exchange Covisint L.L.C., will announce a service called Documentum eContent Services for Portals, which aims to reduce the need to create programming interfaces for services delivered via enterprise portals. Documentum confirmed that several b-to-b companies have tested the eContent Services for Portals products. Among the beta users were ATG, BEA Systems, Bowstreet, PeopleSoft, SAP Portals, TIBCO, Sun Microsystems and small-business application specialist Plumtree Software Inc. The new service leverages Documentum's 4I eBusiness Platform, a system that allows companies to designate which employees and business partners have access to certain content on a Web site. The new tool also specifies who can update that content and begins to build audit trails, a feature to make Internet transactions between companies more binding. In marketing its eContent Services, Documentum will advance the notion of "portlets'' as a cost-effective way for b-to-b companies to expose employees throughout an enterprise to creating Web content appropriate to their job function. Instead of dealing with cumbersome portal applications, which can run thousands of pages, the "portlet'' applications are designed for small portions of the overall portal strategy. Documentum will also begin pushing on Monday the idea of the corporate Internet as a complex, living ecosystem of e-business technologies and architectures.

--John Evan Frook

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