IBM today released new software tools and capabilities on its alphaWorks emerging technology Website to help IBM Business Partners speed the development of solutions built on IBM middleware for small and mid-size businesses (SMB).
Today’s announcement includes four new software solutions designed to make it faster and easier for IBM Business Partners to build business intelligence data marts for information mining; integration environments for business processes and applications; and compliance solutions supporting government regulations and industry best practices. The new tools are delivered at no cost to IBM Business Partners through the IBM alphaWorks Website, which provides early adopters and innovators direct access to emerging IBM middleware technology.

“Innovation comes in many forms with today’s announcement being one of them,” said Marc Goubert, senior manager, IBM alphaWorks. “This latest release of software tools allow our partners to spend less time worrying about developing technology to free up more time for innovating and focusing on the strategic business objectives of their midmarket customers. By leveraging emerging technologies showcased on our website, IBM developers and solution providers can get their tools to market faster and increase return on investment.”

New Business Partner Enablement Tools for SMB
Targeted at independent software vendors (ISVs) and solution providers serving the $300 billion SMB marketplace, the new alphaWorks tools support IBM’s Solutions Builder Express portfolio, a broad set of technical enablement assets and implementation roadmaps for IBM Express technology. Designed and tested jointly with IBM Business Partners, each Starting Point acts as a solution roadmap, providing detailed information on design, deployment, technical architecture and hardware and software specifications.

Developing a business intelligence data mart requires domain expertise and skills with On-line Analytical Processing (OLAP), relational data modeling, multidimensional databases and SQL. The Industry Process Accelerator for Business Intelligence simplifies the modeling and creation of business intelligence data marts by presenting concepts in an easily understood format. It helps to reduce the time and experience required for creating a data mart by providing all the required modeling functions via a simple wizard-driven user interface.This application also complements existing tools found in the IBM DB2 Data Warehouse Edition to accelerate time-to-value and help ensure developers are creating solutions that grow as their customers’ business needs grow.

Framework for Application Data and Sources (FADS) enables the creation of software simulators more quickly and easily, which frees time and resources for building, prototyping and documenting customer solutions. FADS allows application data to not only exist in multiple formats but enables two-way delivery of that data across multiple sources. For example, IBM Business Partners can use FADs to build and share poof-of-concepts for integration solutions built on IBM WebSphere Business Integration Server Express without access or disruption to the customer’s existing IT infrastructure. That same framework could then be re-applied to further reduce development time and resources during live customer deployment, again with no disruption to a customer’s core business processes.

Document retention is critical for many industry operations, especially companies wrestling with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Basel II, and other regulations that require retention of data for specific periods of time. IBM’s VitalFile for Simplified Document Retention is a tool that enables business partners creating NAS/fileserver solutions to offer SMB customers a simple document retention add on. The software allows businesses to create repositories with Write Once, Read Many capabilities and period-based retention. Users simply create folders with names such as “Retain 3 Years” and the solution will automatically enforce the no-delete/no-alter policy. It can also turn any file server into a retention application using existing file/directory technology. Workstations and laptops are also notoriously under protected, as users rarely backup their software. Consequently, the VitalFile Real-Time Workstation Backup provides a transparent real-time file level protection. It supports all Unix and Windows platforms. Any time a “user created” file is altered, VitalFile automatically makes three copies—one which is stored on the current system allowing for multiple versions; another which is queued and sent to a file server, and the final one is sent to a TSM backup server.

For more information on any of these solutions, please visit