BEA Systems is fighting fierce competition and the potential commoditisation of the J2EE application server technology with the latest version of its WebLogic platform.
Once considered the market leader, the company renewed its application server push by announcing WebLogic Platform 8.1at the e-World conference in Orlando and is also branching out into data integration.
BEA said WebLogic Platform 8.1 offers a more unified solution for development, integration and deployment of applications.
"With the [new] WebLogic Platform, you have those three pieces together all running on the same application server and all having a common development environment," said Olivier Helleboid, president of BEA's products division.
Version 8.1 features upgraded versions of the WebLogic Server application server, Portal, for portal development; Integration, for application integration; and the JRockit Java Virtual Machine and Workshop development environment.
"The biggest innovation in this new release is WebLogic Workshop 8.1," Helleboid said.
The easier-to-use, more graphical version of Workshop enables developers to design web pages, perform Java coding, and connect to third-party applications or databases.
Unlike previous versions, the new release does not require a third-party tool, such as Borland JBuilder, to enable development, although developers still can integrate with such a tool.
The new version of Workshop also can be used by laypersons unfamiliar with Java coding, Helleboid said.
BEA released a beta version of WebLogic Platform 8.1 on 3 March, and it expects general availability this summer.