BEA Systems Inc. also kicked off its BEAWorld user conference here rolling out a the WebLogic Platform, a J2EE (Java2 Enterprise Edition) application environment that will support all major open source application development frameworks including Apache Beehive, Apache XMLBeans, Spring, Tomcat and the Eclipse Web Tools Platform.
This will make the WebLogic Platform the first application environment on the market to support all major open-source frameworks, according to company officials.
To fill out the application platform support, BEA announced that it has certified the Spring framework for the WebLogic Server.
Spring is an open-source J2EE application framework that is available under the terms of the Apache version 2.0 license.
BEA is making its certified version of the Spring framework available on the CodeShare section of its developer Web site.
The WebLogic Real Time Edition solves a fundamental problem inherent in the performance of J2EE application servers, said Mark Carges, BEAs chief technology officer.
These servers time out to perform "garbage collection," the removal of data no longer in use from memory, Carges said.
These pauses are a problem for transaction process applications that require the server to be running constantly without a hiccup, he said.
The Real Time Edition was developed to reduce pauses for garbage collection to a few milliseconds to provide a "very predictable response time to all applications that are running" on top of the server, he said.
"Goal is to bring to our customers in the financial services and telecommunications and other industries real-time or near-real-time performance," Carges said.
The WebLogic Real Time Edition is essentially a combination of the Web Logic Server with BEAs JRockit Java Virtual Machine that provides the reliability and performance for enterprise applications, he said.
These advances will make the server effective "hot swappable" so that its server components can be updated and maintained without shutting down the applications, said BEA CEO Albert Chuang.
"This makes it fail safe, so it will work all the time," which is what customers are demanding for there critical applications, he said.
"We are just entering an age where applications will run 24-7, totally non-stop" with far greater reliability than was possible during the mainframe era or the client-server era of computing, Chuang said.
The overall theme of this years BEAWorld customer conference is taking Service Oriented Architecture "from pilot to production."
All of the technologies are aimed at making it easier for enterprise developers to create SOA components that can automate business processes and enable IT virtualization that reduces costs by allowing IT to run more applications on the available server capacity, company officials said.
A panel of enterprise IT and marketing executives said they have started to ramp up the development of SOA components and systems.
SOA has the potential to provide "a ton of benefits for developers in terms of encapsulating business processing and integrating systems that help the organization move more quickly and work more productively," said Vincent Carpenter, lead developer with Wells Fargo Bank.
If SOA development programs are done right, "there is a significant improvement in how quickly you can deliver solutions," and that is important in business such as banking, "where things are changing rapidly," Carpenter said.
Banks have to deal with compliance issues and merger and acquisition issues that require the rapid development of applications or components for particular needs, he noted.
"Developers are being called on to be nimble. To be nimble, you need SOA," Carpenter said.
To further support the development of SOA, BEA announced the formation of a Global Management Alliance, in which eight major systems and software vendors will work with BEA to offer software and services based on WebLogic Server 9.0 that are designed to simplify management, improve performance and reduce downtime for critical business applications.
The companies included in the alliance are BMC Software Inc., Computer Associates International Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Mercury Interactive Inc., Motive Inc. Quest Software Inc., Symantec Corp. and Wily Technology Inc.