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BEA Continues to Woo Developers

Furthering its commitment to Java developers, BEA Systems Monday launched two programming aides and a Web site tracking standards-based initiatives.

The Java Page Flow Portability Kit and XML Beans as Apache Project are just the two latest developer tools released by the San Jose, Calif.-based enterprise middleware company in recent time.

Since June, BEA has been refocusing its energies to win independent software vendor (ISV) and programmers to its WebLogic Java 2 Enterprise Edition platform, creating a developer community around its WebLogic Workshop to build applications more efficiently. The improvements are intended to bring less-experienced developers into the fold as well, with streamlined and more-easy-to-implement software packages built on the burgeoning Web services framework

Benjamin Renaud, BEA's deputy CTO, said the company has been making a concerted effort to bring tools into the Workshop for its developers.

"In terms of continuing to foster developers, that's been a huge focus of ours for the past 24 months. I think we have a huge head start on the competition in terms of catering to a very broad base of developers across the board with our Workshop tool.

"J2EE is a vast and powerful API , to be sure, but not everything is standardized," he added. "I think we're making some great efforts here to bridge the gap of non-standardized technologies in collaboration with IBM."

The strategy is part of BEA's efforts to reclaim the J2EE crown taken away by its biggest competitor -- IBM and its WebSphere software.

Improvements through the Page Flow Portability Kit should win more support among developers to the WebLogic platform. The tool is based on the Struts 1.1 specification for building enterprise-grade Web sites, which is popular with developers but requires some skill in configuring the large amounts of files.

Page Flow automatically generates and synchronizes XML configuration files through a GUI-based integrated development environment . With it, developers can use it on BEA's WebLogic Platform or move it onto another J2EE-based platform.

Building on the popularity of XML Beans, which lets developers create XML-based documents and compile them as a Java class or object, BEA also announced the XML Beans as Apache Project. Basically, it does the same thing XML Beans does for Java, but in an Apache Web Server environment.

Lastly, BEA launched a Web site within its Dev2Dev Web site tracking the latest open source, Java Specification Requests (JSRs) and Web services standards. The portal is an extension of an internal portal its maintained for some time to keep its own employees apprised of the latest developments within the open source and Web services community. Requests by Dev2Dev users, Renauld said, prompted the company to take the portal public.