BEA merges commercial, open source development tools

Vendor announces its "Burger King" strategy

BEA Systems Tuesday rolled out a blended set of development products that meld open source and commercial Java tools.

The new offering, Workshop 10.1, combines BEA's Workshop for WebLogic commercial tools and its Eclipse-based open source Workshop Studio offering, said Bill Roth, vice president of BEA's tools division. The Workshop Studio tool set is the former Nitrox family gained by BEA with its Sept. 2005 acquisition of M7.

The Workshop tool set will be available this summer, Roth said.

"This announcement show that we want to be the Burger King of development environments," Roth said. "We're saying to the developers, 'Have it your way.' It is not just that I can do commercial and open source in the same tool. I can blend them. If I want to use a commercial framework in BEA yet augment it with open source I can do that."

The new blended tool set is part of BEA's Workspace 360 strategy, which is aimed at helping developers collaborate with architects, business analysts and IT operations workers in a shared workspace. Workspace 360 was announced last September

Workshop 10.1 is designed to provide Java Enterprise Edition (JavaEE) 5 support and includes WYSIWYG development support for open source and standard development frameworks including Java Server Faces, Struts, Spring, Apache Beehive and EJB3/Hibernate.

The tool set also includes drag and drop support for building services on BEA's WebLogic server and can be used as a single point of management for builds, build reporting and build documentation, BEA said. In addition to WebLogic, it works with application servers from IBM, JBoss and Apache Tomcat.

"Open source frameworks can be quite complicated in the way they are configured," Roth added. "We're providing additional technology to make the building of open source easier. We're offering the best of commercial and the best of open source and the ability for developers to mix and match the two the way they want."

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