RealTime IT News

BEA Riding The Jrockit To Java

SAN FRANCISCO -- One day after BEA Systems, Inc. said it would shell out some stock to buy Appeal Virtual Machines, the company Tuesday reaffirmed its relationship with Intel .

And for a good reason. Basically, BEA was up against a wall without Intel.

Here's how it plays out:

San Mateo, Calif.-based Appeal makes Java Virtual Machine (JVM) software. JVMs translate Java code into the machine code for a specific hardware platform - in essence they are what make Java portable. The idea is that a Java application should be able to run on any JVM, though each JVM is written specifically for a single platform.

Sounds good so far, right?

Appeal's best known product, JRockit, is designed for large-scale, enterprise server side execution of Java applications and includes technology that works with I/O, memory management and multi-threading. Certainly sounds like something BEA wanted to get its hands on in any environment since its WebLogic line is designed to target large-scale, enterprise server side clients.

But, here is the kicker.

San Jose, Calif.-based BEA says it will work to optimize this particular JVM to run on multiple platforms, including Intel 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.

So, why the big deal?

BEA competes in the application server space with IBM and Sun Microsystems . Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist (not even a Jrockit one) to figure out that neither of BEA's competitors were going to roll over and let the e-business infrastructure software maker get access to their products.

So now, Intel is helping out by optimizing BEA's JVM to ramp up its WebLogic Enterprise Platform on Intel Xeon and Intel Itanium-based servers.

That's no small potatoes considering BEA works with more than 2,100 systems integrators, independent software vendors (ISVs) and application service providers (ASPs) and would love to get its hands on even more.

"The real winners with this announcement are BEA's customers, more and more of whom have heterogeneous computing environments," says BEA CTO Scott Dietzen. "Thanks to our partnership with Intel, BEA can now provide customers with an application infrastructure platform that offers industry-leading performance and low cost of ownership on all major hardware platforms, including both the 32-bit and 64-bit Intel architectures."

Dietzen says the combination will equal superior performance of BEA's software on Intel Architecture-compatible operating systems, including Microsoft Windows and Linux. Not to mention helping its development of Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) enterprise software solutions.

The groundwork for J2EE was already laid Monday when BEA took the wraps off of its next-generation J2EE-based Web services development framework, code-named "Cajun."

BEA will of course use that developers tool to compete in the Web services marketplace with Microsoft's .NET initiative.

But that is another story altogether.