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BEA Ships All-In-One Dev Platform

BEA Systems Inc. on Monday unveiled an all-in-one package of products that make it easier for independent software vendors to build and install web applications on BEA's Java-based platform.

The BEA WebLogic Platform ISV Edition includes the WebLogic Server for running applications, integration software for connecting to other applications and legacy systems, portal tools for building and integrating user interfaces and BEA's Workshop for application development. The package also includes JRockit, BEA's Java virtual machine, which has been optimized for running software on Intel platforms.

BEA is marketing the package to ISVs building software for emerging service-oriented architectures. Proponents claim a SOA, which is based on emerging web services standards, is the next-generation form of distributed computing that replaces proprietary technology with standards, many of which are based on extensible markup language, or XML.

In delivering SOA tools for the Java enterprise platform, BEA competes with IBM and Oracle Corp., which have been eating into BEA's market for SOA-enabled applications, Ronald Schmelzer, analyst for market researcher ZapThink LLC, said.

"The challenge BEA has is that they are having trouble addressing the market outside of their comfort zone: application developers," Schmelzer said via e-mail. "BEA has historically sold only to the application developers, and SOA is a story that needs much broader buy-in from enterprise architects, security administrators, network administrators, and other parts of the organization that are required to participate in the development and creation of the SOA."

Schmelzer sees the ISV-tailored product as an attempt to attract this audience through resellers and other indirect channels.

"It might work out, but they really need to alter their image as a platform for building SOAs on top of BEA's application server product based on J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition)," Schmelzer said. "That message doesn't play as well in an environment of IT heterogeneity."

Among the companies using the new ISV package include Hewlett-Packard Co., storage vendors Veritas Software Corp. and EMC Corp. and business-to-business software maker Cyclone Commerce Inc.

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