BEA adds Eclipse to ESB in SOA move

New packages to ship first quarter 2008

Emphasizing SOA, BEA Systems is unveiling upgrades to its enterprise service bus and legacy integration package on Wednesday, anchoring them to the Eclipse platform as a standard dashboard for controlling these products.

Also offered is accommodation for the SCA (Service Component Architecture) for SOA in the ESB. BEA is making these announcements at the BEAWorld Shanghai conference.

"The key here is this is the delivery of the next major integration of the AquaLogic products plus an update to WebLogic Integration that supports the next level of integrated environment for SOA that people are asking for," said Paul Patrick, vice president and chief architect at BEA.

With version 3.0 of the AquaLogic Service Bus ESB, which ships in the first quarter of 2008, BEA has made tooling for the ESB Eclipse-based, Patrick said. Eclipse plug-ins will be supported as well. The Eclipse-based IDE becomes the mechanism for orchestration of services and composition of service pipelines within the bus. Previously, the tooling environment was exclusively Web-based.

"The bulk of our developers have chosen Eclipse," as their single, integrated environment, Patrick said. Use of Eclipse is part of the company's Workspace 360 strategy for providing a unified tooling environment.

Through deepened integration with the AquaLogic Enterprise Repository, the ESB can use SCA assemblies, he said. SCA provides a standards-based approach for service assembly, Patrick said.

Also added to the ESB is multi-SOA domain support, in which domains for different lines of business can be connected. "What our ESB does is allow us to tie to each of these various domains together," into a service network, said Patrick.

The domains can be managed independently and optimized for the particular line of business supported, he said. A service consumer does not need to worry about where the service is located.

For example, a package-moving company may have different services for air or ground transportation. There are shared services and services specific to these domains. "This makes it easier to be able to combine these services that are often in these single, independent domains into a unified, virtual view," said Patrick.

Version 3.0 of the ESB also offers out-of-the-box integration with the AquaLogic BPM (Business Process Management) product. This eases the exposing of business processes as services that can be shared throughout the service network, Patrick said.

With version 10.2 of WebLogic Integration, which is also being introduced Wednesday, it too has been fitted with an Eclipse design environment that is part of Workspace 360. Process flows and integration are devised in this environment. WebLogic Integration is a Java-based environment for integrating with legacy applications, such as ERP systems.

WebLogic Integration also supports propagation of transaction and security contexts. For example, a rollback of a transaction can be automated through the new transactional support. With security propagation, identities can be propagated across boundaries to identify who is making requests. This is important for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, Patrick said.

WebLogic Integration 10.2 is available in the first quarter of 2008.

Also being unveiled Wednesday is AquaLogic Integrator 3.0, which bundles AquaLogic Service Bus 3.0 and WebLogic Integration 10.2. "This is an ease-of-use packaging that makes this integration trivial and out of the box," Patrick said.

AquaLogic Integrator provides a single offering that can participate in SOA governance solutions by supporting SOA and BPM initiatives across an organization, BEA said.

This package also ships in the first quarter of next year.

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