Domino & WebSphere: Solutions at Work
This is the second of a three-part series on WebSphere, the Web application server at the core of IBM's e-business strategy. Today we look at some companies who have enhanced or just begun their own e-marketplace strategies with WebSphere.
The case studies outlined below are of companies who have marshalled their B2B, B2C and intranet forces by implementing and deploying WebSphere, Domino and a host of other technologies. They've been able to leverage their existing legacy data - perhaps a subscriber database, a collection of vendor catalogs or a help desk - and push it out into the e-marketplace.
Whether you're an existing Web site that needs more e- commerce muscle or one who chose to wait for the dot-com smoke to clear before entering the fray, the Web application server market is crowded with players, and it can be daunting. Major players such as Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Silverstream and BroadVision, to name a few, all have e-commerce solutions to offer as well.
WebSphere may not be the answer for every Domino installation's e-commerce needs. Notes.net recently published an article entitled "Anatomy of a Domino e- commerce Web site" that should be required reading for all. Part 1 of this three-part series can be viewed at: www.notes.net/today.nsf/lookup/e-commerce_1.
Whether you go with IBM or another company, solutions for sites needing to meld legacy data and high-volume transational processing with a 24x7 presence are rarely cheap. Flashline.com (www.flashline.com/components/appservermatrix.jsp) publishes an up-to-date "matrix" of application server providers with product specs and pricing. Also, UpsideToday's July, 2000 article, "Competitors Stack Up in Web Application Server Market," provides a good overview at www.upside.com/texis/mvm/story?id=3958f7c90.
That being said, a WebSphere/Domino solution has provided the answer for many companies. A global community -- from banking, retail, insurance, government and educational sectors - born of WebSphere is emerging. You may find mirrored in the case studies below the needs that your own company is struggling with or get started thinking about how to make your existing Web site into something bigger and better.
WEBSPHERE/DOMINO CASE STUDIES
North American Tire
IBM Net.Commerce and a Domino publishing system serve as the backbone of Goodyear's order-management platform for its dealers. This has reduced costs, made improvements across the supply chain and given dealers more flexibility with inventory management.
SciQuest created its e-solution for customer procurement of laboratory supplies and equipment with the IBM WebSphere Commerce Suite and DB2 Universal Database for AIX. Consolidating information on more than one million items and hundreds of vendors and storing it in DB2 eased its customers' procurement procedures and cut transaction times. Recently the company launched an online auction powered by Domino and Notes for those looking for used and refurbished lab equipment.
Exchange Pte. Ltd.
e-Business Exchange's flagship e-BX, a suite of online billing and payment systems, handles invoices, receives payments and creates B2B catalog purchasing and intra-organization workflow applications. A fascinating glimpse at how things initially got off the ground with CEO Chan Hong Saik wanting to transition his traditional printing firm, based in Penang, Malaysia, from hard copy to electronic billing in order to reduce costs. This case study is touted as using the largest mix of IBM and Lotus software in a single integrated solution.
Over 1,000 sellers and service providers can manage and analyze their warranty and service contracts through WarrantyNet, a Web-based service powered by IBM's WebSphere Application Server, Advanced Edition and Lotus Domino.
Subscription.com, operates a subscription-management service so companies can spend more time drumming up sales than the time consuming but important order processing and fulfillment tasks. Subscribers get to view subscription offerings, and publishers and information providers get exposure to the subscriber base. Giving publishers and providers access to its Web-based subscription application without them undertaking the costs of developing and maintaining the applications, lowers the publisher's subscription management costs as well.
With less and less of the countryside to go around these days Farm Credit Services, knew it had to have a solid model to keep the agricultural community coming to it for its borrowing and financial needs instead of a larger, more well-known financial institution. Domino is a key component of the FCS solution and its customers are able to access a custom call-center built around Lotus Domino.
National Chengchi University in Taiwan has launched 100 online classes since starting its distance-learning push two years ago and created an environment that can handle 20,000 transactions per hour during busy registration periods. The virtual environment hinges on two applications. The first is creating in-house courses with Lotus' LearningSpace that runs on Domino, and the second is implementing the courses easily on the Web with an application built around IBM's VisualAge for Java and IBM WebSphere Application Server, Standard Edition.
Electrolux needed to involve its hundreds of supply chain partners earlier in early stages of its manufacturing process. WebSphere was tapped to handle the voluminous data, the rapid access, and transaction volume while Domino was used to handle the workflow.
IBM WebSphere Home Page
Two reports "Taming the Web Frontier" and "Patterns for e-business" are available with free registration.
IBM WebSphere Publications
Stop here to sign up for WebSphere Developer Technical Journal, a monthly, online journal for developers and the WebSphere Developer e-News, a bimonthly e-mail summarizing recent IBM announcements, product reviews, trial downloads, etc.
Domino: Getting Better All the Time, part 1 of 3
This first article from searchDomino.com explains what WebSphere is and how it works with Domino.
Wendy Maxfield is a contributing editor based in Littleton, Mass.
This was first published in October 2000