BEA expands offerings

Application infrastructure and software company BEA Systems Inc. on Monday beefed up its offerings by unveiling its WebLogic Platform 8.1.

The software is designed to provide additional business integration via the convergence of application development and application integration. It is based on a unified architecture that includes the company’s application server and Java Virtual Machine (JVM), enterprise portal and application development framework.

The platform will include a new application development environment – WebLogic Workshop 8.1 – which could provide a unified, services-orientated development environment for IT organizations, the company said. IT outfits would then be able to create Java and Web applications while extending packaged software applications or Microsoft’s .Net applications to business processes. In addition, the company is offering a free one-year trial development licenses for WebLogic. Users would be offered five Internet Protocol (IP) connections for non-production use.

Another aspect of the platform is WebLogic Portal 8.1, which is designed for the production and management of custom-type portals. It will support the Java portlet standard, JSR 168, for portlet-level development and the Java content repository standard, JSR 170, intended for content management systems integration. Also, the company said it would offer to implement both Web services security and infrastructure for delivering simple object access protocol (SOAP) messages.

But analysts predicted that companies will be most interested in the suite’s upgraded WebLogic Workshop, since the new tool provides a unified interface for developing to any of the WebLogic products.

“That’s the right direction,” said Bob Carasik, enterprise architect at the IT arm of Wells Fargo & Co. in San Francisco. “We’re glad to see they’re adding new layers of functionality on top of the application server. They have to move up the stack, because application servers are going to become a commodity.”

BEA made its product announcements during its eighth annual Technology Conference in Orlando, Fla. The company is online at

– With files from IDG News Service