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Mainsoft solves SharePoint trap

The key to success was using the Web Services Interface of SharePoint to move data across to Websphere, while using the Websphere portal's security structure for a single sign-on, mapping the two credentials.

Yaacov Cohen, CEO of Mainsoft
Mainsoft has solved the problem of SharePoint exclusivity, enabling secure data transfers between a SharePoint store and an IBM Websphere portal.

This work was done for Healthways, a company which helps insurance companies deliver reliable health information to patients.

Until today that information was only delivered on paper. Now it can be delivered online. Mainsoft CEO Yaacov Cohen (above) said Healthways has 27 million subscriber accounts.

David Jarmoluk, director of enterprise architecture for Healthways, explained the problem.

Healthways logo
"Any content we send must be approved by the plan. They see everything we push. We have things built on the inside we're getting ready to deploy to our insurance plans so their approval becomes electronic. They get an online workflow system."

Delivering this was no mean feat, said Dee Zeph, product manager for Websphere portlet factory and .Net extensions at IBM.

"A lot of people have SharePoint in their organizatin, and with Healthways they were facing the need for a scalable production portal.

"IBM is now opened to Microsoft skills and assets."

Cohen of Mainsoft said the key to success was using the Web Services Interface of SharePoint to move data across to Websphere, while using the Websphere portal's security structure for a single sign-on, mapping the two credentials.

"The answer is not to migrate SharePoint documents to Websphere. A customer centric approach is to enable secure access from the Websphere portal, using the role-based security of Websphere, and the SharePoint sites will remain there, at the departmental level, but we’re enabling enterprise acess through a Websphere portal."

The big news, however, is that Mainsoft has productized this process, and IBM will re-sell it as Mainsoft's .NET Extensions for WebSphere® Portal. To quote from the IBM release:

Mainsoft's custom suite of software products enables customers to integrate Windows® SharePoint services, Microsoft ® Office document libraries, SQL Server Reports, and .NET applications onto IBM WebSphere® Portal server.

It won't be cheap, but it's going to get easier, for enterprises to escape the SharePoint trap.