BEA adding Web services to Tuxedo

BEA Systems on Monday will announce a version of the Tuxedo transaction processing software that leverages Web services and is linked more closely to other BEA products.

Version 8.1 of Tuxedo is a Web services-enabled release of the software, which began as an AT&T product before being passed to Novell and finally to BEA in 1996. With Version 8.1, services or functionality within Tuxedo can be extended as Web services, said George Gould, director of Tuxedo product marketing for BEA.

"In fact, Tuxedo was a services-oriented architecture well before the Web," Gould said.

To enable Web services deployment, BEA is building connectors between Tuxedo and the WebLogic Server application server and other BEA products, including the WebLogic Workshop development environment. The connector technology is featured in Version 8.1 of Tuxedo, to ship next week, and will be featured in upcoming WebLogic product releases due during the next six months.

When the products are upgraded with the connector technology, developers will be able to deploy existing Tuxedo applications as Web services using the Tuxedo control for Workshop, according to BEA. The company is calling its connectivity technology WebLogic Tuxedo Connector.

Through tighter Tuxedo integration with BEA products, customers can avail business-critical applications as standard Web services, according to BEA. In addition, this integration also allows for improved Tuxedo operations, administration, and maintenance, including new support for single sign-on and centralized authentication administration.

"The advantage of Tuxedo is you have a transaction processing environment that's connecting to a true, heterogeneous environment," Gould said.

BEA product releases to feature WebLogic Tuxedo Connector include the 8.1 versions of WebLogic Server, WebLogic Integration and WebLogic Portal, and WebLogic Workshop.

Through integration with BEA products, a user of the WebLogic Portal product, for example, could import inventory level data recorded in a Tuxedo application, said Gould.

An analyst said BEA was on the right track with Web services enablement of Tuxedo, but that Tuxedo is not the wave of the future.

"It's really an older paradigm of application development," said Mike Gilpin, research fellow at Giga Information Group. "There might be a few exceptions here and there, but in general just about everybody who needs to use Tuxedo already has it."

But Gould said BEA since 1996 has grown the user base of Tuxedo from 200 customers using it for mission-critical applications to 2,000 customers. Gilpin, however, said users are now looking at J2EE or .Net for the type of applications that have been performed by Tuxedo. Still, legacy applications based on older transaction monitors such as Tuxedo will be in use for years to come, said Gilpin.

Tuxedo 8.1 also will feature centralized user administration, enhanced performance, and globalization, including support for multi-byte character sets popular in the Asian region.

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