BEA Aims to Streamline SOA Projects with mSA Platform

By John Pallatto  |  Posted 2006-09-19 Print this article Print

News Analysis: BEA Systems says enterprises are ready for a standard, open platform for designing and building service-oriented architecture applications.

SAN FRANCISCO—Convinced that service-oriented architecture is mature enough and sufficiently trusted by enterprises, BEA Systems introduced here on Sept. 19 at its BEAWorld user conference a standard development platform that spans the companys three main product lines, Tuxedo, WebLogic and AquaLogic. Called WorkSpace 360, the platform enables business and IT professionals to work together to build Web-based SOA applications that integrate information from many different applications and data sources. The goal, said BEA CEO Alfred Chuang, is to make it much easier for enterprises to collate data that is usually stored away in many separate applications. The time is right to do this, Chuang said, because enterprise IT organizations are accepting SOA as an effective, standard way to integrate and reuse business information across all database, middleware and hardware platforms.
Chuang noted that a recent market study by Gartner, in Stamford, Conn., found that more than half of the enterprises it studied were either implementing SOA technology or was planning their initial implementations.
Click here to read why one recent study shows that BEAs WebLogic is the top pick in the application server market. They are doing this, he said, because SOA has the potential to enable enterprises to react to market demands faster, by giving them swifter access to information they need to make business decisions and by providing ways to discover new business opportunities and create new revenue streams. So far, enterprises havent made as much progress as they want to in streamlining their ability to access data, Chuang said; enterprises are still using spreadsheets, database reports and isolated "one-off" applications to try to discover the data needed to make intelligent business decisions. "People still jump from one application to another application just to get the business information that is relevant so they can be productive," he said. The goal of WorkSpace 360 will be to provide an environment where all the key stakeholders in business application design can work together to provide integrated applications that meet organizations business needs. At the core of WorkSpace 360 is what BEA is calling the mSA (MicroService Architecture), which the company described as a "lightweight, embeddable" software platform that implements SOA standards. BEA said that mSA will be open so that it can be readily implemented and extended by third-party developers that want their products to interoperate with WorkSpace 360. Chuang said past experience has shown that competitors will try to copy BEA software architectures and he expects that will be true again, despite BEAs plan to make mSA open and extensible. But he said he doesnt view that as a negative factor, because it will allow buyers to compare the relative effectiveness of these products as well as the price values. Next Page: Offering an open platform.

John Pallatto John Pallatto is's Managing Editor News/West Coast. He directs eWEEK's news coverage in Silicon Valley and throughout the West Coast region. He has more than 35 years of experience as a professional journalist, which began as a report with the Hartford Courant daily newspaper in Connecticut. He was also a member of the founding staff of PC Week in March 1984. Pallatto was PC Week's West Coast bureau chief, a senior editor at Ziff Davis' Internet Computing magazine and the West Coast bureau chief at Internet World magazine.

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