When two ecosystems get together, the result can be a bigger landscape. This week, enterprise portal vendor Liferay announced a new partnership with infrastructure provider TIBCO Software that is intended to simplify Liferay Portal’s integration with SAP, SharePoint, JD Edwards, Peoplesoft, Lotus Notes, Siebel and other systems. 

Via the partnership, customers can have a portal-based application that connects through TIBCO’s ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks platform to backend systems. The companies said this approach, utilizing a new series of Liferay Connectivity Adapters (eC Adapters) with TIBCO’s existing ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks adapters and plugins, will provide a “complete solution at a significant price advantage.”

Creating Integrated Solutions

The Liferay adapters, available in the third quarter, will be targeted at Liferay’s partners, which can now expect to have significant cost advantages in creating turnkey, integrated solutions.

The Liferay Portal is an open source, enterprise portal that provides content and document management, Web publishing, shared workspaces, enterprise collaboration, social networking and identity management. The company said the portal has more than half a million deployments worldwide, and applications include a self-service portal, knowledge sharing, the creation of dynamic Web 2.0 sites, social networks and enterprise application integration.

Affordable Data Integration

Liferay has been pitching itself as a somewhat lighter, less expensive solution to more extensive solutions like Oracle WebCenter, IBM WebSphere or SAP, but it has needed affordable back-end data integration with other systems in order to compete. TIBCO’s Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) provides an avenue for sharing data, messages and events between systems and applications.

Learning Opportunities

By partnering, Liferay can connect through TIBCO BusinessWorks to other systems, and TIBCO gets packaged with this popular enterprise portal solution. On its website, Liferay notes that the benefits of the partnership include the creation of a portal with "direct integration into backend systems" that offers a "more cost effective, open alternative to IBM, SAP and Oracle."

Liferay customers will have access to TIBCO's adapters and software at a "significant discount" via the LIferay adapters, which provide the same functionality as full TIBCO adapters but are limited to use with the Liferay Portal. 

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Paul Hinz, Chief Marketing Officer at Liferay, said in a statement that the partnership addresses the need of enterprises looking to simplify integration, although “direct integration, even if between two leading solution providers, does not follow architectural best practices.” As a result, this partnership is intended to provide “an independent, open architecture,” so that customers can “retain flexibility in their long-term IT decisions.”