RealTime IT News

BEA Makes Fervent SOA Pitch

BEA Systems is intent on improving its ability to offer service-oriented architecture (SOA), and the company stayed on message at its BEA World 2005 event in Santa Clara, Calif.

The company kicked its Think Liquid SOA strategy up a notch Tuesday, unveiling new products, partners and programs to lure customers to its distributed computing approach.

The San Jose, Calif., middleware maker debuted BEA WebLogic Real Time edition, promising customers instant responses to business applications running on the WebLogic software line.

Speed of response to queries is something BEA and rivals like IBM, Microsoft and Oracle have been working on ever since they launched their first application servers to run anything from Word documents to e-mail clients.

But instant responses are even more important now because business customers want to use software that facilitates communication across disparate applications on the Internet. These so-called Web services are generally a part of broader distributed computing forays called SOAs.

Getting application responses without delay -- or in real time -- has been something of a Holy Grail, as IT engineers contend with bandwidth constraints, CPU limits and other technological barriers. BEA hopes to shatter that barrier with the WebLogic Real Time product.

BEA also unveiled a Global Management Alliance to simplify management, improve operations and reduce downtime of applications based on BEA's WebLogic Server 9.0. Partners for this endeavor include BMC Software, Computer Associates, HP, Mercury Interactive, Motive, Quest Software, Symantec and Wily Technology.

Following up on an earlier promise to support more open source platforms, company officials today delivered a J2EE application environment to support Apache Beehive, Apache XMLBeans and the Eclipse Web Tools Platform.

BEA also announced support for the Spring framework and certified it for WebLogic Server.

Overall, the interoperability message stayed the course laid out by BEA officials in New York at the Think Liquid brand and AquaLogic family line launch earlier this year.

The central theme is that CEO Alfred Chuang and his team want to free so-called "frozen" data, which includes data trapped in monolithic silos of infrastructure from one vendor, allowing products from different vendors to work together.

The evolution of BEA's Think Liquid strategy is aimed to meet the challenges that face the modern SOA.

While Web services standards have matured, application suites are have grown more sophisticated, making it harder for customers to get different types of hardware and software to work together, the hallmark of an SOA.

Think Liquid is a philosophy that aims to treat that malady.

Separately at BEA World, BEA rivals JBoss and Microsoft agreed to make JBoss' Enterprise Middleware System and Windows Server software work better together and deepen JBoss support for the Windows Server operating system.

The rivals will figure out ways to make JBoss work well with Web services and federated identity services from Microsoft's Active Directory, the WS-* Web services architecture, Microsoft Operations Manager and SQL Server.