BEA Systems is fighting fierce competition and the potential commoditisation of the J2EE application server technology with the latest version of its WebLogic platform.
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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.