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The BEA Web server's security framework has been completely redesigned to address the worries of potential Web services adopters.
Security is a general concern across all sectors of Web services. It has resulted in the formation of the WS-Security initiative by Microsoft and IBM to devise standards that address security issues across mixed platforms. However, this process may take some time, so BEA's additions could prove popular among users.
The Weblogic Server 7.0 framework puts security firmly under the control of Web server administrators. BEA says it offers a seamless integration path to security partners such as Baltimore, Entegrity, Entrust, Netegrity, PentaSafe, RSA Security, and VeriSign through the inclusion of plug-in APIs.
The framework covers a range of capabilities, including application access authorisation, user authentication, access tracking (auditing), and application and data protection using public key infrastructure.
This takes the onus off developers to provide security services, instead leaving the job to security experts and administrators. The use of a framework and plug-in construct offers the ability to change security policy without altering the application code.
Also for developers, the company has improved its Weblogic Builder development environment for the Java-based platform, which now uses J2EE 1.3. Key to this are new programming aids and extensions which allow applications to be exposed as Web services automatically.