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BEA Takes SOA For a '360' Spin

BEA Systems  took a step in its evolution as a pure service-oriented architecture (SOA) vendor today, tucking its Tuxedo, WebLogic and AquaLogic product lines under a new umbrella it calls SOA 360.

Like all SOA  strategies, the technology package aims to match software with business processes to help customers save money on software development and integration.

The SOA 360 platform, which BEA is touting at its BEAWorld event in San Francisco this week, is supported by BEA's microservice architecture (MSA).

BEA said in a statement MSA combines the tenets of SOA  and the concept of a service network, or a modular and lightweight separation of concerns instead of point-to-point integration.

MSA is driven by events in a business process, using notification services to publish and discover components or services.

MSA will also work with open source containers and presentation services, a continuation of BEA's blended strategy for combining commercial and open source technologies.

SOA 360 is supported by BEA's new SOA tooling environment, BEA WorkSpace 360, which is designed to allow business analysts, architects, developers and IT professionals to collaborate on software creation.

BEA said it expects WorkSpace 360 to roll out throughout 2007.

In a multi-billion-dollar SOA market that includes giants IBM , Microsoft , Oracle  and Sun Microsystems , BEA said SOA 360 is a "competitive weapon that will enable the company to deliver innovation that can adapt faster and more flexibly to changing business conditions."

But with SOA software already a fixture in the portfolios of many leading software vendors, most experts agree the new challenge is refining them and adding new levels of granularity.

This basically means perfecting the software services to do more of what customers need them to do, including facilitating Web services  interaction across disparate computer systems.

As one of the last remaining, large independent SOA players with this focus, BEA hopes SOA 360 will help the company turn the corner in the SOA arms race.

To support SOA 360, BEA today announced the BEA SOA for Executives, a suite of SOA consulting and education services for senior IT executives, and the Guardian Support Service, an automated maintenance tool that scans, analyzes and diagnoses networks for potential problems.

BEA also released AquaLogic Enterprise Repository (ALER) 2.5, a re-branded product culled from the integration of BEA's acquisition of Flashline and its metadata repository.

The software tracks and analyzes SOAs to give customers a better idea of how their software services are behaving.

BEA also upgraded AquaLogic Data Services Platform (ALDSP) 2.5 to better support Web services and reporting tools with a native engine to both XQuery and SQL.

ALDSP now supports Microsoft Excel to bring live data to users via Web services within Excel from multiple data sources.