BEA Adds Web Services Support, Wizards to Portal

BEA Systems Inc. is improving its portal technology with native support for Web services.

BEA Systems Inc. is improving its portal technology with native support for Web services.

The San Jose, Calif., company last week announced that new administration tools in BEAs WebLogic Portal 7.0 are designed to display Web services created in BEAs WebLogic Workshop, Microsoft Corp.s Simple Object Access Protocol Toolkit clients and other tools. The product includes new portal and portlet wizards that reduce development time, BEA officials said.

By including Web services and emerging portal standards in the portal, BEA officials said they are helping lower the cost of getting information and applications to employees, customers and business partners.

In addition, WebLogic Portal 7.0 ships with new collaboration portlets and commerce portlets for catalog, shopping cart, purchasing process and other e-commerce services, officials said.

BEA is also launching its BEA Portal Solution Center, which is aimed at helping enterprises cut the time needed to build portals.

Businesses using the portal center will have access to a catalog of portlets and pre-built connections to third-party applications. There are also pre-designed portal offerings from systems integrators.

The center provides a resource catalog that includes more than 100 portlets and portal integrations. Among the areas addressed are customer relationship management, collaboration, content management, wireless and security, officials said. Users can also view pre-designed, industry-specific portal offerings from systems integrators such as Deloitte Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting and Xcelerate Corp.

The portal offering runs on a number of platforms, including Windows, AS/ 400, HP-UX, OS/390, Solaris, AIX and Linux.

The Relizon Co., a communications company based in Dayton, Ohio, uses BEAs Web-Logic Server 6.0 and plans to upgrade to 7.0—and integrate the new portal technology—in the fall.

According to Marjorie Putman, vice president of IT at Relizon, the upgrade will enable the company to reduce the complexity of building Java-based applications.

"We anticipate that this will significantly simplify the building and deployment of [Enterprise JavaBeans]," Putman said. "We are also looking forward to leveraging some of the administrative enhancements that come with this release in the areas of security administration, cluster configuration and high-availability messaging failover for the JMS [Java Messaging Service] queues."

Putman said BEA is doing a good job of reaching out to developers, partners and integrators alike.

"I believe you can gain greater leverage with this approach," Putnam said.