IBM Tuesday announced it bought portal software maker Bowstreet for an undisclosed amount.Bowstreet's technology is aimed at helping companies to assemble composite applications from disparate enterprise applications and data sources. Bowstreet offers pre-packaged applications, such as those tailored for building corporate performance dashboards. In addition, Bowstreet offers the Portlet Factory development environment, which is geared for building portlets that interact with spreadsheets, data warehouses, enterprise applications and Web services.\u00a0IBM says the Bowstreet purchase will help further its service-oriented architecture (SOA) strategy by giving WebSphere Portal customers tools to more easily integrate data and enterprise applications."Companies are looking for new ways to combine their various silos of information and applications into a single view that can help them make better business decisions, reduce costs and improve time-to-value," said Mike Rhodin, general manager of IBM's workplace, portal and collaboration business, in a statement. Combining Bowstreet's technology with IBM's WebSphere portal software and Rational application development tools gives users what they need to build and run composite applications, he said.Customers using Bowstreet's technology along with IBM's Rational software have been able to build portal applications between two and 12 times faster than when using other portlet tools, IBM said.Bowstreet is a privately held company founded in 1998 and based in Tewskbury, Mass. Its customers include Bayer, DuPont, Gillette and Kroger.