Speeding SOA Adoption
In addition, Dietzen said open-sourcing Workshops framework will speed the adoption of service-oriented architectures (SOA). And Beehive will "dramatically increase the use of Java in the enterprise," Willis said. Dietzen said applications built using the Beehive framework can run on WebLogic along with non-BEA Java containers. "Beehive allows our customers to migrate a Tomcat application to a WebLogic container," he said. "The first implementation BEA provides of Beehive will be targeted at Tomcat." Willis said BEA will maintain control of the Workshop IDE while turning over control of the Workshop frameworknow called Beehiveto an open-source entity that has yet to be determined.In addition, Willis said companies such as Borland Software Corp., Compuware Corp. and Instantiations Inc. have offered to support the project, and Red Hat Inc. has offered to distribute the framework. Instantiations and Borland are members of the open-source Eclipse Foundation, which oversees the Eclipse open-source development platform. Willis said Beehive, being a framework and not an IDE, is complementary to Eclipse. "We would love it if there was a plug-in for Eclipse targeting Beehive," Willis said. "I think it is a good move, but like any move to open source right now, there is a thought toward how do you really make Java easier: Oracle [Corp.] with its framework, Sun [Microsystems Inc.] with Studio Creator, etc.," said Thomas Murphy, an analyst with The META Group Inc., of Stamford, Conn. "A big piece of Suns pitch is, We do this with all-standard Java, so BEAs move is to say, Well, it isnt proprietary, and look, we are addressing many other things." Murphy said he thinks the market will have a mixed reaction to the BEA news. "First will be the idea of what good is it outside of the Workshop tool," he said. "Some who just reject easier models anyway. Some who want more open source, etc. "But I think that it is good from the move forward the conversation about metadata-driven AOP [aspect-oriented programming]. I think it is good for BEA customers to know they can look at this without being completely locked into BEA as a runtime, especially since you can do simple apps on Tomcat, and if you need to migrate up to or connect with EJB [Enterprise JavaBeans] apps on WebLogic, you can." Click here to read about BEAs claim that it leads in service-oriented architecture. Willis said Workshop follows the Microsoft model of using reusable componentscalled controlsto more easily and rapidly develop applications. Willis, who was Microsofts product manager for Visual Basic from 1990 to 1995, said he expects to see a potent third-party component model crop up around Workshop like the one that grew around Visual Basic. "We had 15 controls that first year with Visual Basic," he said. "And in eight months, we have 50 controls for WebLogic Workshop. We are very excited about replicating that component library. Developers are always looking for help with things like code they dont have to write" if they can find a component that offers what they need, he said. Check out eWEEK.coms Developer & Web Services Center at http://developer.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.
Willis said BEA is looking at creating its own open-source community or using SourceForge, FreshMeat or another open-source community organization to foster ongoing development of the framework.