Bosworth Leaves BEA for Google

In a letter to BEA employees, the company's former chief architect says he's going to Google to follow the "siren's song of consumer services."

Adam Bosworth, a software industry icon and the secret weapon behind several products including Borland Quattro, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Internet Explorer and BEA WebLogic application server and Workshop, has left BEA Systems to begin work at Google.

Contacted via e-mail, Bosworth told eWEEK he could not discuss his role at Google because the company is in a quiet period.

Officials at BEA Systems Inc. did not respond to requests for comment on the reasons for Bosworths departure, but a corporate representative confirmed that Friday was his last day with the San Jose, Calif., company and that he was indeed going to work his software magic at Google Inc.—Microsofts archrival in the search arena.

In a letter to BEA employees dated Thursday and viewed by eWEEK, Bosworth said he is leaving to pursue his dream of working on consumer services, but he made no mention of what role he will play.

"As some of you know from my early CrossGain days when Rod Chavez and David Bao and Gary Burd and Ken Ong and I were first setting out to build CrossGain in early 2000, my heart has always heard the sirens song of consumer services," Bosworth wrote.

"The five of us left great jobs at Microsoft five years ago to follow this new tune. And given the opportunity to really help out at a great consumer services company, Google, I had to follow that tune again."

The letter, e-mailed under the subject header "Farewell," started out: "It is with profoundly mixed emotions that I send this mail. I am leaving BEA and going to Google.

"I am terribly sorry to leave because of the people Ive had the privilege of working with here at BEA. You are extraordinary people. Together we shared a vision, bringing enterprise applications to millions of developers, and you made it real."

Attempts to reach Bosworth at BEA were unsuccessful, and a response from his BEA e-mail address said: "Adam Bosworth is no longer with BEA Systems."

Bosworth held the title of chief architect and senior vice president at BEA. Google officials did not respond to attempts to learn more about Bosworths position there.

In an interview with eWEEK earlier this year, Bosworth said he worked for several years after college as a programmer developing banking systems before founding his own startup, known as Analytica.

Borland Software Corp. acquired Analytica, and Bosworth worked there for a few years before going to Microsoft Corp., where he made his mark on several products, including Visual Basic. He left Microsoft to found a company called CrossGain, which BEA eventually acquired.

Just last May, Bosworth helped anchor BEAs eWorld conference with a keynote presentation on BEAs ESB (enterprise service bus) technology and a demonstration of a future technology to support occasionally connected users in BEAs SOA (service-oriented architecture) environment. The project, known as Project Alchemy, was Bosworths baby, and he had discussed it earlier at the XML 2003 conference in Philadelphia.

Without Bosworth at the helm, some observers wonder what will become of the project.

A company representative said Project Alchemy would remain BEAs technology and will be a part of the companys Liquid Computing strategy.

Project Alchemy is a messaging and information model in the back end that describes information models and their relations to data and services. Alchemy is aimed at occasionally connected devices and systems and enhances the companys ESB strategy, known as Project Quicksilver.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here for more on BEAs ESB plan.

In his farewell letter, Bosworth said, "Quicksilver is hugely exciting. And of course, there is Alchemy, of which Im extremely proud (at least as much of the team as the ideas) and believe that it and they may alter how the Web is viewed."

Ronald Schmelzer, an analyst with ZapThink LLC, based in Waltham, Mass., said, "Alchemy is focused on the sometimes-connected client, or basically those Web services consumers who arent always on the network. So, to include them in an SOA, one has to use asynchronous messaging protocols and other reliable Web services mechanisms.

"Much of what is written about ESBs centers on the fact that they extend message-oriented middleware with Web services and service container interfaces," Schmelzer said. "Since message queuing and interacting with heterogeneous, and perhaps sometimes-connected systems, is part of that ESB message, this Alchemy feature set definitely adds some potency to BEAs offering."

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