Versata Tunes Logic Suite

Upgrade provides 4 new areas of functionality for enterprise customers.

Versata Inc. is moving its departmental business process automation suite into the enterprise.

Versata Logic Suite 5.5, which will ship this week, provides four new areas of functionality for enabling enterprise customers to specify business logic and integrate with third-party software when building Web-based applications.

Logic Suite delivers a visible specification of key business requirements, effectively replacing time-intensive hand-coding efforts associated with J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) and Common Object Request Broker Architecture application servers, according to Versata officials in Oakland, Calif.

In Version 5.5, Versata adds support for the latest versions of IBMs WebSphere (4.0) and BEA Systems Inc.s WebLogic (6.1) application servers.

Versata also enhanced its core Logic Server to support IBMs WebSphere 4.0 application development platform, which is in beta testing.

In addition, Logic Suite 5.5 introduces a new kind of process logic that allows customers to specify logic that relates not only to the database but also to point-in-time transactions. This means that IT managers can automate much more complex, cross-enterprise business logic, according to Versata. The technology that enables this new capability was developed by Verve Inc., which Versata acquired late last year.

Point-in-time transaction logic makes sense to Ron Isaac, team lead at Consolidated Freightways Corp., which is using Versata technology to create a paperless claims system.

"There are 77 different transactions that go [out] from our mainframe and back," said Isaac, in Vancouver, Wash. "It takes a long time [to process]. From a user perspective, they hit the button that says pay and 9 seconds is a long time to wait."

With the upgrade, Versata officials have implemented a fundamental shift in sales strategy. Previously, the company provided a complete system that included prepackaged adapters to communicate with other systems. In accordance with the wider adoption of J2EE and Web services, Versata is now offering open-source-code tool kits along with consulting services to implement the technology instead.

The tool kits should help companies better integrate Versatas technology with third-party offerings at a much lower cost, according to officials.

Finally, with Logic Suite 5.5, Versata officials attacked the core question of how to best leverage IT resources, including programming skills, hardware and performance requirements. Theyve beefed up the suite to provide better support for multideveloper proj-ects and developer debugging tools.