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BEA Widens Open Source Support

In a move that reflects the growing popularity of the open source platforms, BEA Systems is adding support for the Spring Framework for developing Java-based Web applications, and the open source Web application framework, Apache Struts.

Going forward, BEA WebLogic Workshop and other tools will be designed to allow applications to be built or blended from most major open source frameworks, including Spring and Struts, as well as the Beehive environment that company donated to Apache.

Applications built from these environments may then be deployed on BEA's flagship WebLogic Server. For example, customers will be able to configure and monitor Spring modules through the WebLogic Server console. BEA will also certify the WebLogic Workshop tools for Apache Geronimo and Apache Tomcat.

The idea is to accommodate developers who like to mix and match commercial and open source software and runtime servers.

Such certification will help developers port more applications onto WebLogic Server, a highly desirable proposition for BEA, which competes with IBM and Oracle to get as many developers writing to WebLogic as possible, said BEA CTO Mark Carges.

"These open source frameworks have been coming around," said Carges, who will detail BEA's plans during his keynote at JavaOne Monday. "These frameworks try to abstract some of the lower level plumbing capabilities so developers can focus on writing their business logic."

To lend credence to BEA's claims, Carges said he will demonstrate the creation of a Java application in Eclipse leveraging both Apache Beehive and Spring with deployment to Apache Tomcat during his JavaOne keynote in San Francisco.

He will then redirect the application to WebLogic Server and show access to the open source modules through the WebLogic Server management console.

The executive said BEA's decision to open up its platform support some more gathered steam after the San Jose, Calif., company conducted a recent study of 1,000 developers. The results indicated that more than 70 percent of Global 2000 companies use one or more open source framework.

"If we see 70 percent of the people go to Spring and Struts, we'll go there because that's where our market needs us to be," Carges said.

BEA has other significant news on tap at JavaOne, Carges said. The CTO will announce plans to make a "bare metal" version of the company's popular JRockit Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Bare metal means JRockit will be able to run directly on the central processing unit (CPU) without the impediment of an operating system. This will make it possible for users to take advantage of current hardware and application virtualization technologies through JRockit, which will ultimately help users deploy utility computing scenarios with the JVM.

There will also be new technologies for non-invasive production diagnostics to help curb slow or small memory leaks in production Java deployments. Developers will be able to locate memory leaks without the memory bloat of adding traditional diagnostic tools or replicating the problem.

Carges said the improvements will help lessen the pause times associated with so-called "garbage collection," where there is a continuous querying of events, or where it is necessary to find correlations in real-time.