Search Your SOA With BEA

BEA Systems  is offering a new search tool to help employees find information in their corporate portals, a valuable proposition at a time when content and user volumes are soaring.

Search is a valuable tool to help users sift through their data housed on a variety of applications in a service-oriented architecture (SOA) , where disparate software components converge in a distributed environment.

While the SOA introduces some efficiencies because it allows Web services  to communicate with each other across networks built on different code bases, it also comes with some management nightmares because of its distributed nature.

BEA’s AquaLogic Interaction Grid Search is designed to help developers not only maintain search collections containing millions of documents, but make the documents — e-mail, instant messages, Web content, communities and portals — available to employees across multiple nodes on the SOA.

Aflac, known for commercials that feature a duck perpetually frustrated by humans’ inability to remember the insurance carrier it is a mascot for, implemented the Grid Search tool to manage documents employees use on the portal.

Frank Braski, manager of high-performance workplaces at Aflac, said in a statement the tool helped Aflac improve its employees’ productivity and collaboration, as well as boost the adoption of the portal.

Grid Search is part of the AquaLogic User Interaction piece in BEA’s SOA 360 collaboration platform for making business and IT meet in the middle.

BEA intends SOA 360, which also includes the WebLogic and Tuxedo brands, to become the ultimate SOA platforms despite steep competition from Java-based systems created by IBM  and Sun Microsystems , as well as Microsoft’s .NET platform.

Of all the vendors, IBM has the biggest ladle in the search pot, thanks to corporate search tools such as OmniFind and the Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA).

IBM made UIMA available under open source earlier this year to foster adoption.

In other BEA product news today, BEA released AquaLogic .NET Application Accelerator, an application to help customers integrate Microsoft ASP.NET applications and services into portals run by AquaLogic Interaction or WebLogic Portal, as well as third-party Java portals.

Using the toolkit, an ASP.NET developer can build applications via the Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) standard in any WSRP-compliant portal server.

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