BEA beefs up e-business platform

BEA Systems is making a strong bid to retain its leadership in the e-business platform stakes by filling out its product line and...

BEA Systems is making a strong bid to retain its leadership in the e-business platform stakes by filling out its product line and slimming down its infrastructure, writes Eric Doyle.

At its eWorld Conference in San Diego, BEA released a new version of its Weblogic Server 7.0, which now includes a developers' portal and an application development environment, under the name of the Weblogic Enterprise Platform. The company also announced a specially tuned version of the server and its JRockit Java Virtual Machine for Intel's new Xeon processors.

Alfred Chuang, president and chief executive at BEA, said, "[Our platform] is based on open, non-proprietary industry standards that address the reality of heterogeneous hardware platforms in most major corporations and, thus, it runs on a wide range of Unix, Linux and mainframe architectures."

The main platform for BEA so far has been Sun Microsystems' Solaris servers, and the company hopes to maintain its close links with Sun while extending its influence further into the Intel-based server market.

Recent ECperf benchmark results show Weblogic to have a 47% performance lead over competing J2EE application servers, but this may be eroded when IBM and Oracle announce their own results on the latest Intel Xeon processor.

Bob Griswald, vice-president and general manager of BEA's Java Runtime Products Group, said, "We want our Java applications to be the fastest available on Intel and have been working closely with them over the last year to ensure that we have the tightest-written application server available for Xeon servers."

With Weblogic Server 7.0, BEA has introduced a new security framework for authorisation, authentication and auditing. The framework helps developers to implement secure applications and includes a graphical security policy editor to make rules-based security implementation easier for administrators to deploy.

The framework covers the whole system from the Web browser through to back-end systems, such as mainframe applications and databases. It also allows easier integration with products from VeriSign, RSA Security, Entrust, Entegrity and Oblix.

BEA has yet to announce a release date for the new Weblogic Server but a beta version is available on its Web site.

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