Opinion: With its AquaLogic product line, BEA Systems is reaching out to an influencial new audience, application architects and corporate business strategists, who may keep BEA growing for years to come if they buy into its pitch.
Theres been ceaseless debate and conjecture about whether BEA Systems is in danger of sinking into technological irrelevance.
There has been talk of BEA being marginalized in its core WebLogic application service market and levered out of its position in the enterprise Web services software stack by competition from Oracle, IBM and the open-source Apache Software Foundation.
Along with the industry chatter, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has been taunting BEA with his companys claims that the Oracle 10g application server is stealing market share from the BEA server.
If that wasnt enough, BEA has been dogged by rumors that it is Oracles next big buyout target. That rumor was stirred up yet again this week even as BEA executives appeared at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New Yorks Time Square Thursday to take the wraps off its "AquaLogic"
SOA (service-oriented architecture) strategy. BEA officials declined to comment on the rumor Thursday.
But with its AquaLogic strategy BEA has an opportunity to develop an entirely new market that has the potential to support the companys growth for years to come, if it successfully carries out what it described as a three-year product development and marketing strategy.
AquaLogic is at the core of what BEA is calling its "Enterprise Liquid Assets" vision, which will provide SOA technology to enable enterprises to use the Internet to integrate information assets that have been locked away in heretofore isolated data caches.
Click here to read about the release of a BEA tool that helps IT organizations assess whether they are ready to implement SOA.
For years BEA has been talking mainly to application developers and software engineers who use Java or Microsoft .Net programming tools to build e-commerce applications that run on its WebLogic application server.
With the new AquaLogic product family, BEA is talking to the software developers bosses, the application architects, business analysts and even the CIOs who are taking a strong interest in SOA, which is being heavily promoted not just by BEA, but by the likes of IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems.
With this new technology initiative, it doesnt matter whether WebLogic or the application servers from IBM, Oracle and Apache become increasingly commoditized. Thats because corporate IT departments are interested in investing in SOA technology because it promises to provide greater integration for the data assets and systems they already own.
Next Page: Keeping the promises of SOA.