BEA chief at BEAWorld: We're the SOA leader

Looking to seize the mantle of SOA leadership, BEA Chairman and CEO Alfred Chuang at the BEAWorld conference on Tuesday declared BEA to be the world's leader in enabling SOAs.

Citing the company's commitment to multiplatform services deployment, Chuang stressed that BEA is delivering on its SOA vision. The company enables deployment of services in multiplatform environments that feature .Net, Java, open source and legacy environments, Chuang said.

"We're the company that is making SOA happen in the real world," he said. "BEA is the only infrastructure software company delivering a comprehensive SOA platform."

As part of its SOA effort, BEA is announcing at the show BEA WebLogic Real Time Edition, a product due later this year that links the WebLogic Server application server to a version of the JRockit Java Virtual Machine. This product doesn't need to pause to do garbage collection of software objects.

"Customers get more predictable performance from their Web sites, from their applications," and thus leverage these benefits in an SOA, said Bill Roth, vice president of marketing at BEA.

Company officials also detailed what they described as the zero-downtime capabilities of WebLogic Server that enable it to be upgraded with no system downtime. This can be critical for maintaining transactional applications.

BEA emphasized its support for using open source application frameworks -- such as Spring -- with BEA's middleware. BEA is providing customer support for Spring as well as certifying Spring for use with WebLogic Server. BEA's WebLogic Platform can blend with frameworks including Apache's Beehive and XMLBeans, Spring, Tomcat, and the Eclipse Web Tools Platform.

SOA deployers from large companies cited their own SOA efforts and benefits during a panel session at BEAWorld. "By reusing services and not rebuilding them, we avoid making new mistakes," said Pat Holmes, IT manager for Intel.

At Sony Pictures, the company has had to deal with six or seven architectures, 10 technology stacks, and 300 applications, said Doug Saucier, vice president of enterprise architecture at Sony. "How do you move an organization like that forward when you've got anchors holding you to the past? What we had to come up with was a homogeneous architecture for a heterogeneous environment," Saucier said.

When using services, data no longer is the property of a specific application, he said "That data belongs to the enterprise."

Even prior to the conference, BEA rival IBM was aggressively working to refute BEA's claim as the SOA leader. In an unsolicited e-mail, an IBM representative called IBM the SOA leader.

"BEA is attempting to gain traction in the market for service-oriented architectures, an area where IBM is the leader by a wide margin," IBM representative Ron Favali said, citing a report by AMR Research.

"Later this week IBM will add to the strength of its leadership position with additional SOA-management services," Favali said.

BEA at its conference also is announcing the formation of a management alliance with ISVs that is intended to extend capabilities of WebLogic Server 9.0. As part of the BEA Partner Program, the company's Global Management Alliance consists of joint engineering and marketing initiatives with partners to provide an SOA platform. BMC Software, Quest Software, and Symantec are among the participants.

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