RealTime IT News

Oracle Server Rollout Builds on BEA Buy

Seven months after buying BEA Systems for $8.5 billion, Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) today announced the first product incorporating BEA technologies into its own, the Oracle WebLogic Server 10g R3.

It is the cornerstone of the Oracle WebLogic Suite, which will be a foundation for enterprise applications and service-oriented architecture (SOA) , Oracle said. SOA is a software architecture built around business processes offered as services that can be reused throughout an enterprise.

"The specific enhancements in this release are in the area of SOA and strengthening WebLogic for SOA," Mike Piech, Oracle's senior director of product marketing applications, told InternetNews.com.

Oracle bought BEA to help its drive into SOA. Its first release of its Web and SOA platforms, called 11g, is currently in beta.

The next major upgrade of 11g is scheduled for release by the end of May 2009. It will have "selective cross-pollination of BEA features into the first release of 11g," Forrester analyst John Rymer said in a report.

The new release of WebLogic Server (WLS) is the first step in that direction. "We've updated WLS to support all the latest releases of standards, including WS [Web Services] standards, which are important for building SOA infrastructure and applications," Piech said.

Oracle has also added support in WLS 10g R3 for Service Component Architecture (SCA), which "enables true composite application building by making it easier to wire together disparate applications into components," Piech added.

WLS 10g R3 also supports SAML 2.0, "a standard that's really geared toward allowing single sign-on, which is near and dear to the hearts of SOA folks," Piech said. Single sign-on is important in the SOA environment, "where an application is composed of different parts running on different machines and in different environments," Piech explained.

A strategic part of the Oracle Fusion Middleware line, WLS 10g R3 integrates with other strategic products in that line, such as Oracle JDeveloper, Coherence and TopLink, the vendor said. It also integrates with Oracle Enterprise Manager, according to Oracle.

WebLogic Server 10g R3 has been enhanced, so it runs better and faster, Piech said. For one thing, it is modular, so users can "selectively install components and, of those components they can selectively start a subset so they only install and run what they need," he explained.

This "gives users less to break and less to look at when they track problems down," Piech said.

One thing that might give users pause is that Oracle is supporting both BEA's open source Eclipse-based Workshop and its JDeveloper and integrated development environments (IDEs) .

"Customers will need to decide whether to go with Eclipse, JDeveloper or both because Oracle designated both as strategic," Forrester's Rymer said in his report.

Piech said Oracle is supporting both IDEs because "there's a significant developer constituency that prefers the rich functionality available in JDeveloper, and others who have a stronger affinity to the open source world and the wide acceptance of Eclipse."