BEA to offer integration adapters

BEA Systems will begin offering application adapters based on J2EE Connector Architecture (JCA) to provide a standardised means...

BEA Systems will begin offering application adapters based on J2EE Connector Architecture (JCA) to provide a standardised means to integrate otherwise disparate software.

JCA provides a standard way for Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application servers to plug into back-end applications, such as enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management systems.

BEA will resell a set of adapters built by Peregrine Systems. Typically, when an upgraded edition of an application comes out, much of the integration needs to be reworked. However, a standard set of adapters can help ease that burden, said BEA division president Ivan Koon.

The first adapters will be rolled out early next year and BEA plans to deliver a handful more each quarter, said Koon.

The suite will include adapters to SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems databases and mainframes, said Nicole Eagan, Peregrine's vice-president of platform technologies. "We'll continue to build adapters for BEA to OEM [original equipment manufacture]," she said.

BEA has big plans for JCA adapters. "We want to work with other vendors, like Peregrine, to commoditise the adapter business, " Koon said. "We're looking to have the same affect on integration that SQL did on the database when Oracle and IBM agreed to that standard."

IBM and Oracle also are looking to improve their integration plays. For example, IBM signed a similar pact last week to resell Peregrine's adapters and unveiled a series of messaging products and adapters for hooking into other applications, such as, Oracle, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards.

"It's inevitable that the lower levels of integration will be commoditised," said Shawn Willett, principal analyst at Current Analysis.

However, Willett does not predict the demise of enterprise application integration (EAI) vendors' adapters, particularly since the JCA products are not yet fully baked.

"The EAI guys are coming out with a higher price, but its proven technology," Willett said. "The JCA technology is a bit immature and a lot of enterprise users may want to go with a tool from WebMethods or Tibco because it's more mature."

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