When the Cobalt Group's business volume grew, the compnay decided to
migrate its applications from CGI and Perl, which were on a Linux VA
operating base system, to a JavaTM technology base. The Cobalt Group
provides e-business applications and services to the automotive
Motorplace Auto Exchange is Cobalt's first JavaTM 2 Platform,
Enterprise Edition (J2EETM) technology-based product. It is an online
marketplace for selling off-lease vehicles to used car dealers. It
enables financial institutions that hold auto lease paper to quickly
find dealerships willing to purchase those off-lease used vehicles from
the financial institution and resell them to their customers.
Cobalt's e-business solutions include Web services, Web site hosting,
e-commerce applications, Internet-based customer relationship
management applications, data management, contract professional
development services, and best practices training and consulting.
Cobalt has relationships with 52 of the top 100 dealer groups and 14
"We had pretty much pushed our existing platform to its
limits and needed the scalability of the J2EE platform to continue our
growth," explained Mike Martinez, vice president of Marketing for
Cobalt. "The automotive industry was standardizing on Java technology, a
trend that's only accelerated since then. Our customers needed us to
be on a J2EE platform base so they could readily integrate other Java
Another application is Cobalt Nitra, which links manufacturers and
dealers via a hosting environment. Clients can easily link Cobalt Nitra
with their own Enterprise JavaBeansTM (EJBTM) component-based
applications. Cobalt Nitra leverages Java technology's
security provisions and enforces commonly accepted business rules.
Cobalt Nitra provides for an elaborate system of information access
permissions read-write, read-only and no access based on several
aspects of a user's position in the dealership network. "The data
access hierarchy capabilities we're introducing are unprecedented in
the industry," said Martinez, "and they'd be very difficult to
implement without the flexible object environment of the J2EE platform.
Its pluggable components make all the difference in the world."
There is a Nitra basic package and a professional package.
Sun provides the hardware platforms for Cobalt's new generation of
applications and services. At the back end of the configuration lie
three Sun EnterpriseTM 4500 Servers that manage an Oracle database
stored on two Sun StorEdgeTM A5200 Disk Arrays. Ten Sun
EnterpriseTM 220R Servers run Cobalt's applications and fulfill LDAP,
DNS, FTP and email tasks.
The system is front-ended by eleven Sun EnterpriseTM 420R Web
Servers. Cobalt's QA, testing and pre-production needs are satisfied by
six Sun EnterpriseTM 450 application Servers and six NetraTM
T1 Web Servers.
Development is performed using two Sun EnterpriseTM 250 Servers
front-ended by 24 UltraTM and Sun BladeTM Workstations. They run on
the SolarisTM Operating Environment (Solaris OE). All the equipment
is protected by SunSpectrumSM support service.
Read More ...