BEA hails app server upgrade

Paul Krill ist Redakteur unserer US-Schwesterpublikation InfoWorld.

Not to be outdone by rival Oracle Corp."s conference being held a block away, BEA Systems Inc. on Monday unveiled Version 9.0 of its WebLogic Server application server, code-named Diablo.

Again honing in on the theme of service-oriented architecture deployment, BEA said the product is focused on simplified development of service-oriented applications that can help lower development and operational costs.

Highlights of Diablo include support of J2EE 1.4 and Web services standards such as WS-ReliableMessaging; Diablo sports a messaging infrastructure intended to allow for processing of thousands of messages per second, according to BEA.

Also featured in Diablo is an advanced diagnostics framework that allows administrators to identify and resolve issues in applications running in production in real time, as well as auto-tuning, which is a self-tuning technology designed to enable specification of service levels.

Oracle, at its OpenWorld conference on Monday, touted similar functionality for its upcoming Oracle Application Server 10g Release 2, such as WS-ReliableMessaging support, service levels tuning, and support of service-oriented architectures.

Diablo is scheduled to be available for download in beta form on Dec. 16, with general availability set for next summer. One BEA user said he looked forward to disruption-free capabilities in Version 9.0

"We"re really looking to WebLogic Server 9.0"s disruption-free deployment because it"s still the customer-facing apps that we have the problem with," said Jeff Davies, director of software architecture and standards at DSL vendor Covad Communications Co.

Anyone at Monday"s event witnessed a unified BEA declaring itself an industry leader ready to move forward. But BEA has undergone a lot of personnel changes at the top lately, with the departures of officials such as Scott Dietzen, former CTO, and Adam Bosworth, former chief architect.

The company, which has more than 16,000 customers, is focused on innovation and is tops in throughput and price/performance, according to Alfred Chuang, BEA founder, president and COO.

"From JRockit (Java virtual machine) to component technology, we have the absolute cheapest technology out there, or the biggest bang for the buck," Chuang said.

He also scoffed at the perceived threat that freely available open source application servers might present to the company"s commercially available application server. Open source revenues are dwarfed by those of BEA, he stressed. Users care about the APIs and openness that BEA can provide, Chuang said.

"I think (open source) is way overblown in the marketplace," presenting no comparison, he said.

BEA this week also is announcing general availability of the WebLogic JRockit 5.0 Java Development Kit, for the company"s JRockit JVM for Intel Corp. systems. JRockit 5.0, which also is scheduled to be available in beta on Dec. 16, is designed for more easy diagnosis of problems and to help analyze an application"s behavior and performance in real time during production, without sustaining a noticeable performance penalty.

The SDK includes the Java Runtime Environment, which features the JVM and Java class libraries. It also features development tools such as a compiler and debugger, compliant with the J2SE 5.0 specification.

BEA on Monday also presented a road map of several technologies, including the following:

-- Devils Thumb portal product beta release, due in summer 2005

-- QuickSilver beta, due in spring 2005, with general availability next summer. The product combines Web services and enterprise service bus technologies

-- Liquid Data 8.2, code named Danube, shipping early next year

-- Davinci telecom product for SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and VOIP support, due in winter 2005, with a follow-up planned for next spring.

-- Liquid Data 9.0, shipping in autumn 2005

-- Dublin business process management product, due in winter 2006

-- Taurus version of the Tuxedo transaction processing monitor, due in the summer 2005

-- Ripcurl RFID edge product, due in spring 2005