BEA Puts Muscle Behind Open Source

BEA is extending its commitment to the open-source community by supporting the major open-source development frameworks.

SAN FRANCISCO—BEA Systems Inc. will announce Monday a slew of initiatives that will extend its commitment to the open-source community, enrich its architect and developer communities, and bring Java processing closer to the CPU.

At the JavaOne conference here, BEA will announce its plans to support the various major open-source development frameworks—such as Apache Beehive and the Spring Framework—and to support users in mixing and matching the various frameworks, development models and deployment environments.

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"Were going to be enhancing open-source frameworks in a big way," said Jim Rivera, director of technology at the San Jose, Calif., company.

Rivera said BEA will be embracing and adding value to the open-source frameworks. The first way is through certification testing, then through tooling for development and administration, and third will be through migration tools to enable users to move their applications from one platform to another.

For instance, the BEA WebLogic Workshop development tool and other tools will be designed to allow applications to be built from leading open-source frameworks, including Apache Beehive, the Spring Framework and Apache Struts, and will then be able to be deployed on BEA WebLogic Server, Rivera said. BEA will also certify the BEA WebLogic Workshop tools for Apache Geronimo and Apache Tomcat.

The goal of this certification is to support the migration of applications developed on these frameworks and open-source run times onto WebLogic Server, using the monitoring and management capabilities BEA can provide. The tools will be designed to allow customers to configure and monitor Spring modules through the WebLogic Server administrative console.

"Weve been trying to drive out complexity, but its happening in open source because of the freedom of choice," Rivera said.

Spring has "gained tremendous adoption for its ability to work with simple objects and plain old Java objects [POJOs]," Rivera said.

Rod Johnson, founder of the Spring Framework and CEO of London-based Interface21, which is responsible for the vision and leadership of the Spring framework and which offers Spring Framework services, said of the Spring/WebLogic integration plans, "We think its great news for BEA customers. In the past, some of them have been a bit conflicted about lightweight J2EE [Java 2 Enterprise Edition] and what that meant for their relationship with their application server vendors. This announcement makes it clear that BEA has a similar vision to us about the priorities on the J2EE platform as a whole, and we are prepared to support customers who are interested in lightweight J2EE."

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However, "its important to note that this does not tie Spring to WebLogic," Johnson said. "We prize and retain our independence and the fact that Spring is portable between platforms. We will always have first-class support for all environments in which users want to run Spring, including all major application servers and outside an application server.

"So this is particularly good news for WebLogic users and Spring users who have a relationship with BEA, but its also likely to benefit Spring users on other platforms by underlining enterprise acceptance of Spring and making it easier for them to advocate Spring in their companies."

Meanwhile, BEA also announced an enhanced version of its developer site, BEA dev2dev. The upgraded site features blogs from prominent members of the developer community; expanded relevant technical content, Wiki webs, full content syndication (RSS) and a new design aimed at helping developers get to what they need faster.

In addition, BEA announced a companion community, known as Arc2Arc, where enterprise architects can share expertise, case studies and perspectives on design; the community will also feature online resources, the company said.

Finally, as part of his presentation at JavaOne, BEAs chief technology officer, Mark Carges, will describe the companys road map for upcoming technology, including project "Bare Metal," a version of the BEA JRockit JVM (Java virtual machine) that will be designed to take advantage of hardware and application virtualization technologies. This will allow JRockit to run directly on the CPU without the direct impediment of an operating system, the company said. The JVM will feature deterministic garbage collection and diagnostic tools to locate memory leaks, the company said.

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