BEA to expand WebLogic Workshop

BEA Systems will expand its WebLogic Workshop application development environment to feature portal problem-solving and integration, a company official said on Monday.

The Java environment, first released in June, currently is focused on quick Web services development. The upgrade due next year will expand the focus to include portals development and application integration, according to Mark Carges, president of the BEA enterprise frameworks division.

"It's more integration," Carges said, in emphasizing how the platform would be improved.

An analyst said the second version of WebLogic Workshop will offer a substantial expansion in functionality.

"Essentially, with the first version, they provided a visual tool for building and deploying Web services that were based on things in the server," said analyst John Rymer, research vice president at Giga Information Group. "With Version 2, they're really expanding that into a full-blown development environment for not only Web services but also for pages, for server-side components, for visual controls, visual interfaces, the whole nine yards," Rymer said.

"I like to think of it as a 4GL or as the equivalent of Microsoft Visual Studio but for Java," Rymer added.

BEA last week announced that customers such as Calpine, Collaxa, Confluent, Documentum, GeoTrust, McGraw-Hill, Palm, and Verizon Communications are using WebLogic Workshop to solve difficult enterprise integration problems.

WebLogic Workshop is part of the WebLogic 7.0 platform that also features WebLogic Integration, software for enterprise application integration; the WebLogic Server application server; and WebLogic Portal portal development framework. The upgrade to WebLogic 7.0, expected to be discussed at the BEA eWorld conference in Orlando in March and available next year, is code-named Gibraltar and is focused on convergence of application development and integration, Carges said.

Convergence of these technologies "is gaining traction in the market", Carges said.

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