BEA rolls out Java-based environment

BEA Systems Inc. bolstered its Java-based development strategy Monday, rolling out new software that allows corporate and third-party developers to create and deploy any Java or service-based application for its WebLogic server.

Called the WebLogic Workshop Professional Edition and priced just less than US$1,000, company officials believe the product is best suited for building Web applications, business workflows, Enterprise Java Beans, and Web services that can all be done using one interface. The offering is in direct response to demands by the company’s developers for a lower-cost development product.

“With this product we think we can really expand the number of developers who can create Java applications. Developers have been telling us they wanted a low-cost way to develop and deploy applications on our platforms,” said Cornelius Willis, BEA vice president in charge of developer marketing. “What this is, is a scale-limited version of the whole platform.” he said.

The product features limited versions of WebLogic Platform products, including WebLogic Workshop as well as the company’s application server, portal and integration products, and enterprise security framework. The product carries a five-socket deployment limitation. After five connections. a queuing mechanism kicks in and application performance slows down, company officials said.

“I think it will be most widely used for prototyping and small systems development,” Willis said. The purpose of the product is to give developers a next step for application development after evaluating BEA’s platform.

BEA’s WebLogic products compete with IBM Corp.’s WebSphere, he said. But BEA offers tighter integration, Willis said. “Our whole platform comes on one disk,” said Willis.

Company officials said they will offer the product through their resellers, including the Programmer’s Paradise Inc. and the Component Source, as well as through the company’s online developer site, dev2dev.

“We think this product is what a lot of developers we talk to are looking for in that it is a full featured Java development platform that they can develop and deploy apps on for under $1,000,” said Sam Patterson, the CEO of Component Source.

Compuware will ship WebLogic Professional Edition with the Compuware OptimalJ product, Willis said.

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