BEA Systems aims to help customers reduce their application downtime and cut the cost of integration projects with the next release of its WebLogic Server software, due in the first half of next year.
Codenamed Diablo, WebLogic Server 9.0 is due for beta release in September, with the final release slated for the first half of 2005, said Andrew Littlefield, a senior director of product management at BEA.
The current version, WebLogic Server 8.1, was released last July.
Diablo will let customers upgrade and patch applications - as well as the application server itself - without having to take their systems offline.
This is important for businesses that need the highest levels of availability, such as banks.
Customers will be able to load and test a second copy of their applications on their server and keep the first copy running after they go live, in case they need to migrate back in a hurry.
For the application server itself, users with clustering will be able to upgrade and apply patches without taking the software offline. "It’s a step closer to our goal of giving mainframe levels of reliability," he said.
Deploying the applications instrument-ready carries a performance overhead of about 1% but means applications can be tested more quickly, he said.
Hewlett-Packard, BMC Software, Wily Technology and Mercury Interactive have agreed to release versions of their tools that tie into those hooks when Diablo is released, Littlefield said.