BEA touts support for Web services standards

BEA Systems Inc. officials voiced support for a wide range of emerging de facto standards for Web services, but like many of its competitors, BEA's plans are works in progress, industry observers said.

The declarations on Monday underline the Web services theme of the day at BEA e-World 2001 held here.

BEA officials have come out in favor of UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration), SOAP (simple object access protocol), WSDL (Web services description language), and XML. The vendor also threw in support for ebXML (electronic business XML).

Amid new product, partnership, and customer announcements, CEO Bill Coleman and President Alfred Chuang each touched upon BEA's Web services strategy.

Not unlike its competitors, BEA's plans are not yet definitively sculpted, according to Larry Perlstein, a vice president at analyst firm Gartner Group. "They haven't articulated any real strategy at this point," Perlstein said.

Scott Dietzen, CTO of BEA's e-commerce server division, said the company plans to offer a Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) alternative to Microsoft Corp.'s .NET Web services strategy.

"The hope is to compete on our implementation of the services. Today, we compete on being a J2EE implementation, but we don't actually compete on what the standard is," he said.

BEA's Chuang maintained that Web services is not the company's end-all, be-all software strategy.

"We view Web services as an interim step to delivering BEA's ultimate goal of allowing the enterprises to have the control they need to run many, many applications. That is an unstoppable and inevitable trend," Chuang said.

Heading in that direction, BEA also announced a number of new products, including WebLogic Enterprise 6.0, Campaign Manager for WebLogic, Tuxedo 8.0, and WebLogic Collaborate Enabler for RosettaNet Inc.

"One of the strengths BEA brings to the table is the fact that there is so much built on their platform," Gartner's Perlstein said.

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