BEA enhances integration and portlet offering

BEA Systems has announced 30 BEA-branded integration adapters for linking applications via the company's WebLogic Integration...

BEA Systems has announced 30 BEA-branded integration adapters for linking applications via the company's WebLogic Integration software, as well as 20 portlets that add functionality to portals developed in the WebLogic Portal platform.

The adapters, based on JCA (Java Connector Architecture), enable access to applications or databases, said Pat O'Haren, senior director of product marketing at BEA.

The adapters, which are due for release by the end of the month, are for applications such as SAP R/3, Siebel, PeopleSoft, Oracle applications, and JD Edwards. Customers, for example, could take data from a Siebel application and make it accessible to an SAP system.

Other adapters are for compliance to industry standards such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and the SWIFT data format for financial institutions. With the new adapters, BEA will have more than 150 integration adapters available.

JCA replaces costly, proprietary adapters.

"Until recently, most of the adapters in these types of applications have been done on a proprietary basis. That approach has resulted in a lot of costs for developing these adapters as well as cost [and] complexity of managing these applications," O'Haren said.

The adapters could also be used in Web services-based applications, he said.

Adapters range in price from $20,000 for a database adapter to $50,000 for an SAP or PeopleSoft adapter.

BEA's adapters are filling a need that would have been met by third-party vendor Peregrine, which dropped out of the market.

BEA still will face an uphill battle against IBM, which has its MQSeries and Crossroads integration technologies. However, BEA will benefit from building its adapters on industry standards and supporting Web services.

BEA stressed that customers are, increasingly, combining integration software, such as adapters and business process management, with portals and custom applications to enable users to act on information within the context of roles and interact with multiple back-end systems. Standards such as JCA and Web services enable reductions in the cost and complexity of integration.

Portlets enable new functionality in portals. New components include portlets for whiteboard and chat from Compoze Software. Venetica is providing a portlet known as Content Provider for BEA WebLogic Portal, which features a set of portlets for collaboration and integration with content stored on Windows file servers. Prices of the portlets vary based on the providers.

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