BEA Buys M7 as SOA Market Simmers

BEA Systems aligned itself with the top open Java software development platform by acquiring Eclipse tools maker M7 for an undisclosed sum.

BEA made the move on the Cupertino, Calif., company to pump up its self-described “blended” strategy for application development and deployment.

This new turn for BEA involves bringing open source and commercial software together to fortify developer productivity.

M7 fits into this because it offers an Eclipse-based development platform called NitroX that supports the development of Web applications based on open source and industry standard frameworks, including Struts, Hibernate, JavaServer Faces and JavaServer Pages.

BEA will merge its developer tools with M7’s and provide these capabilities to the market as the BEA Workshop for Java IDE. BEA Workshop for Java will also provide a developer tooling base for all of BEA’s product offerings, BEA said in a statement.

The move will also give BEA a better foothold on the millions of lines of code in the Eclipse Tools Framework. BEA joined the Eclipse Foundation as a board member and strategic developer and announced it will ship future versions of the WebLogic Workshop developer platform on the Eclipse Tools Framework.

The product will be available in six-, 12- and 24-packs for companies seeking to purchase development seats for groups or departments. Pricing will be announced when the product is available.

The San Jose, Calif., middleware maker revealed the purchase at its annual BEA World show this week, where the company has been shoring up its service-oriented architecture (SOA) strategy for exchanging information on the Internet.

At the show in Santa Clara, Calif., this week, the company unveiled WebLogic Real Time edition, promising customers instant responses to business applications running on the WebLogic software line.

The SOA bell has been ringing quite a bit this week.

IBM expanded its SOA management practice, agreeing to sell products from SOA governance provider Actional and XML acceleration and security device maker DataPower.

SOA Governance will help clients set a baseline for measuring improvements, tracking SOA projects, build a pool of skilled resources and establishing the structure for making decisions about SOAs.

Michael Liebow, vice president of SOA and Web Services, IBM Global Services, said in an interview that customers have moved out of the SOA testing stage and into deployment, with their greatest concern now being management and governance.

IBM’s news is an expansion of the practice, which started last November with partners SOA Software and Amberpoint working with IBM Tivoli Software to deliver SOA management.

Oracle also joined the SOA party this week. The software maker, slated to make a Fusion middleware announcement Friday in New York, unveiled the Oracle Portlet Factory development tool to help businesses meld and interact with information pulled from different applications through a Web portal.

Oracle said in a statement it believes portlets are a key enabler for culling data from disparate systems for use in portals and composite applications.

For example, Oracle Portlet Factory includes an integrated portlet development environment and an SAP adapter, which simplifies the process of building portlets for SAP applications. Developers can use the adapter to drag-and-drop SAP components into portlets that can be accessed through the company’s portal.

Oracle Portlet Factory is scheduled to be generally available in 2006.

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