WebLogic Integrates Apps

BEA offers extensive development suite.

An upgrade to BEA Systems Inc.s WebLogic platform brings together the companys application development, integration and portal technologies.

WebLogic Platform 8.1 provides a services-oriented architecture that encompasses BEAs flagship application server, WebLogic Server, as well as the WebLogic Workshop application development environment, WebLogic Portal, WebLogic Integration software and WebLogic JRockit Java virtual machine.

"This is a serious departure from the last hundred years of technology. We believe this will allow developers to integrate applications, a task they could never take on before," said Alfred Chuang, chairman and CEO of BEA, at a press conference last week. "This is a single platform. ... Our products share a single code base, from scratch. This has to be done to change our industry. Compatibility has to come; cost has to come down."

BEA, of San Jose, Calif., also released Version 8.1 of its Liquid Data for WebLogic software, which is designed to provide a single point of access to enterprise information. This iteration of Liquid Data, which enables applications to access and combine information from distributed collections of data silos, is also integrated with WebLogic 8.1.

Liquid Data enables data architects using WebLogic Workshop to turn views of data into WebLogic controls, which in turn simplifies access to disparate information, officials said. At the same time, the Liquid Data distributed query engine has been enhanced to deliver more complex processing of transactions. Likewise, data source support has been expanded.

At the WebLogic 8.1 rollout, BEA also announced a bevy of partners supporting or standardizing on the platform, including Intel Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Manugistics Inc.

About three years ago, BEA tagged application integration as a growth area—and logical extension—for the company. It went about hiring a team of executives from key competitors, such as IBM, TIBCO Software Inc. and WebMethods Inc., and increased the amount of research and development dollars. WebLogic Platform 8.1 is the culmination of that effort, officials said.

Moving forward, BEA plans to get involved in managing widely distributed composite Web services, according to Chuang.

"Part of that will be managed by BEA because we have the developer tools—that is one set of solutions," said Chuang. "The other set that we clearly will get involved in is the actual logical exception you see in the application itself. We have to be there really preventing the user from getting disconnected or getting stuck. That kind of thing will be supplied by BEA."

At the same time, Chuang said that very shortly BEA will deliver application security products.