Accenture rolls out platform for BEA

Accenture gave the fortunes of BEA System's WebLogic Platform a boost on Monday by announcing a software environment that will enable corporate developers to build an integrate e-business applications significantly faster for that platform.

Developed in concert with BEA, the Accenture Platform Accelerator (APA) is designed to help enterprises build a range of different applications, including online customer support sites and order management systems, more efficiently and less expensively, according to company officials.

"Most of our architecture work for clients so far has been to fill in the white spaces left because the work was too difficult for them or something their J2EE server did not provide. But what APA does is it helps integrate the whole [BEA-based] platform across the portal and application servers and EAI tools," said Kevin Polari, a partner at Accenture, in Dallas.

One of the purposes of the APA is to help corporate IT groups to simplify the process of integration thereby freeing them from dealing with the thorny details of their underlying platforms, Polari said.

The APA includes a set of pre-tested codes scripts that can be integrated with other development tools and a series of field-tested guidelines to quicken the pace of delivering e-business-aware applications.

Together the foundation formed by the APA and the WebLogic Platform should supply the framework and necessary components to ingrate and assemble not just applications but business processes and partner trading communities in hopes of simplifying development for J2EE.

"Integration remains a top priority for our users. Working with systems integrators like Accenture can only help our users to more cost effectively implement our application infrastructure, which should result in faster time-to-value for IT projects," said Chet Kapoor, vice president and general manager in charge of BEA's Weblogic integration strategies.

The APA is one of the centerpieces of the recently announced Accenture Delivery Suite, which is an updated set of methods, tools, and architectures to help the company deliver projects.

Given Accenture and Microsoft's common financial interests in Avanade, an integrator of Microsoft-based solutions for the enterprise, Accenture has plans this year to bring the APA with its .Net-compatible Avanade Connected Architecture that would better ensure a consistency of design and methodology, as well as tools, across .Net and J2EE environments.

"The world is realizing they need both the J2EE and .Net platforms. The religion on that issue seems to be dying down. Providing consistency of design tools and methods ensures people will have some degree of transferability of skills between the two environments. They are asking for that now more and more," Polari said.

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