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BEA Goes Blending, Bundling in Beijing

BEA Systems said it plans to integrate its WebLogic Portal and AquaLogic User Interaction software lines and introduce new products next year for building service-oriented architectures (SOAs).

BEA WebLogic Portal allows users to make portal Web pages and personalized application content for each portal user.

The AquaLogic User Interaction product line, acquired in BEA's purchase of Plumtree earlier this year, includes some of the same capabilities of WebLogic Portal.

But it adds collaboration, search, Web publishing, analytics and process management software to help employees conduct more efficient work on their computers.

Their combined utilities will put a fresh face on distributed computing because portals are generally the first and most visible major application in a business that uses SOAs to exchange information.

BEA, IBM, Oracle and Sun are all racing to produce their visions of SOA to win over customers in a multi-billion-dollar market for new-fangled enterprise software.

BEA executives said at the BEAWorld event in Beijing today that the goal is to create one computing environment that works with Microsoft Windows, Unix and Linux operating systems, and BEA WebLogic, Microsoft .NET, IBM WebSphere and Tomcat application servers.

BEA provided examples of planned products the company is working on within its AquaLogic User Interaction product line that will appear in the second half of 2006.

Project "Runner," will yield a rapid application services and composition engine to make portal infrastructure and activity services available to non-portal applications.

Customers will be able to use this product to integrate tools like usage analytics, security and identity management, collaboration, distributed publishing and Web content management, search and knowledge management and commerce into applications without extensive rewrites.

Project "Holland" will be an enterprise application wiki that lets business users create interactive workspaces, group pages and portal communities, populated through a library of reusable page components, data connectors and workflows.

This should allow users to switch between collaborating on the creation of new applications and workspaces, and using those spaces as part of their daily work.

Project "Graffiti," a collaborative information discovery and knowledge management system, will classify and find content stored in any corporate content repository, including Documentum, Microsoft SharePoint, Lotus Notes and Windows file systems.

Users will be able classify content by creating personal content tags to organize the content. The system pools individual classifications into groups and makes suggestions about what content might be useful to an individual user by combing usage patterns and analytics.

The unified portal roadmap will consist of three phases to be completed by 2007, overseen by Mark Carges, executive vice president, BEA.