BEA offers glimpse of its future direction

Executives from BEA Systems yesterday outlined three primary areas of focus for the company’s future products: security,...

Executives from BEA Systems yesterday outlined three primary areas of focus for the company’s future products: security, application-level management and process-oriented programming.

Speaking at BEA's technology conference in Orlando, which ends tomorrow, chief executive officer Alfred Chuang said that his company was building a security server that would be sold as a separate product and can be used in any environment.

"If you’re not even a WebLogic shop - maybe you’re a mainframe shop - you’ll find it useful," he said. 

Chuang did not give a release date for the product. 

Last month, BEA acquired CrossLogix, a small, privately held maker of enterprise authorisation products. The CrossLogix technology will be part of BEA’s security work. 

In the meantime, BEA has an enhanced security framework that will span all of the products in its upcoming WebLogic Platform 8.1, including the application, portal and integration servers. The application server is due to ship this spring, with the full platform due out this summer. 

BEA added the security framework on top of its support for all of Java 2 Enterprise Edition 1.3 specifications for security so that policies and user roles can be changed without having to call on a developer to write code. 

Through its tools, BEA is also striving to reduce complexity so business analysts can start developing or interfacing with applications, said Olivier Helleboid, president of BEA’s products organisation. He said the company is "trying to move up the programming paradigm closer and closer to the business".

Rick Jackson, vice president of enterprise marketing at BEA, said the goal is to enable business analysts to better map out process flows, allowing developers to fill in the details. "We will always look at how to let the nondeveloper, the business analyst, do more and more in the environment around process design and creation."

A third area of focus for BEA is application-level management technology that aims to help companies react to potential problems before they happen, Chuang said. 

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