BEA Systems is announcing an upgrade to its WebLogic Integration software. WebLogic Integration provides business process integration; the upgrade emphasizes links to process tools, network management consoles, and business-to-business (b-to-b) integration.
The new WebLogic Integration 8.5, which is already shipping, features support for the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) for Web Services 1.1 specification. Users can develop business processes and export them as BPEL processes. Moreover, BPEL processes from other tools can be imported into WebLogic Integration 8.5.
Version 8.5 can more easily integrate with business process tools from vendors such as ProActivity and Popkin Software. These tools model processes that can be exported to WebLogic Integration. ProActivity Version 6 and ProActivity BAM (business activity monitoring) both integrate with WebLogic Integration 8.5.
The ability to plug and play with the Hewlett Packard's HP OpenView and BMC's Software Business Service Management network-management consoles is another highlight of Version 8.5.
"You can view the process statistics through an enterprise-management console," said Sanjay Chikarmane, senior director of product management integration products at BEA. WebLogic previously has integrated with Computer Associates Unicenter.
WebLogic Integration has been a success for BEA, said James Governor, principal analyst at RedMonk. "BEA needed to continue investing in the platform as the integration market becomes ever more crowded. It's been a fair success for BEA, so it needed to sustain some momentum."
He added that BPEL support is an important checklist item, although there have been no widespread deployments of BPEL.
BEA also is announcing that it will resell a Cyclone Commerce product, called Cyclone Interchange, which serves as a b-to-b gateway to function with WebLogic Integration 8.5.
"Cyclone provides a gateway for enterprises to business partners," supporting protocols such as EDI, ebXML(electronic business XML) and Web services, Chikarmane said.
WebLogic Integration differs from BEA's ESB (enterprise service bus), called AquaLogic Service Bus, in that the ESB integrates services while WebLogic Integration is targeted at specific process integration.
"WebLogic Integration is about orchestrating and automating business processes," Chikarmane said, adding that WebLogic Integration competes with offerings from companies such as IBM and Oracle.
BEA believes its WebLogic products offer an advantage in that they have been built as a single family.
"WebLogic is a completely unified solution," Chikarmane said.
Another feature of Version 8.5 is enhanced process management focusing on performance improvements as well as enhanced data transformation. Native connectivity is boosted through bidirectional support for HTTP, IBM WebSphere MQ, Tibco Rendezvous, and databases. Improvements to the business process management and transformation design time bolsters developer productivity.
A shared metadata cache that serves as a run-time repository for business processes to make dynamic decisions on what actions to take and when enables improved process management in Version 8.5.
WebLogic Integration 8.5 is priced at US$62,000 per CPU. It requires the WebLogic Server application server, which is included in the price.