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HP, BEA swing a deal at BEA eWorld

[June 25, 2002] - BEA Systems Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. will jointly sell integrated hardware, software and services solutions built around BEA’s Weblogic application server and running across all HP operating systems. The deal was made public at BEA eWorld Europe 2002 in Paris, where the company rolled out its Weblogic Platform 7.0. As well, BEA said its Weblogic Workshop development tool suite will be generally available at the end of June.

As part of the BEA-HP deal, HP will become a preferred strategic systems integration partner of BEA with a dedicated team of BEA-certified consultants. A port of HP-UX on Intel’s Itanium processor will be key.

Additionally, HP is said to be evaluating BEA’s JRockit Java Virtual Machine (JVM), with the potential to standardize on JRockit across HP's enterprise servers for all operating systems and server lines for the Intel architecture.

The agreement follows reports that HP was set to jettison its Bluestone-based application server, which the company recently began to offer for free. In the wake of such reports (spurred initially by comments of an HP software executive at an early-June investment banker forum) Gartner analysts Massimo Pezzini and Yefim Natis advised HP Netaction/Bluestone users to develop transition plans for systems running on those products.

Systems covered by today’s agreement include HP-UX, OpenVMS, NonStop Kernel (NSK) and Tru64 Unix on current standard platforms and future Itanium platforms, as well as Windows 2000, Windows NT and Linux. In addition, as part of the agreement, HP will become a BEA preferred strategic partner for services management via HP OpenView.

The Paris roll-out of Weblogic Platform 7.0 is a significant step for BEA. Its success in app servers has been astounding, but critics warn that application servers may become a commodity item. The new platform integrates Web services support, an integration services broker, BEA’s WebLogic Workshop, and an integrated Java development framework.

“We are expanding beyond the application server here,” said Wynn White, senior director of product marketing for BEA platforms. The new product is intended to meet the needs of customers looking for “an integrated middleware solution,” he said.

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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