BEA and Siebel expand alliance to support Universal Application Network
- By John K. Waters
BEA Systems and Siebel Systems have expanded their existing alliance to promote Siebel's application integration software strategy, the two companies announced last week. Siebel named BEA a strategic partner in its alliance program and designated its J2EE-based application integration software, WebLogic Integration, a premier solution for Siebel's Universal Application Network (UAN).
The UAN is a Web services-based framework that integrates Siebel's CRM software with other applications. Siebel calls it "a standards-based approach to multi-application integration based on best-practice business processes."
For its part, BEA plans to offer full "out-of-the-box" support for UAN in upcoming versions of BEA WebLogic Integration and BEA WebLogic Platform products, said company reps. The new 8.1 version of the software, due in August, has all of the technology "hooks that support UAN" written into it, according to a BEA spokesperson.
Under the new agreement, the two companies will commit dedicated engineers, technical architects, product managers and alliance managers to the project, which also includes an on-site interoperability-testing laboratory.
The alliance between BEA and Siebel Systems is designed to address the challenge of linking disparate business processes and applications, the companies said, by offering a "preintegrated, standards-based solution on BEA WebLogic Integration and UAN." Siebel provides UAN Integration Applications that enable organizations to deploy end-to-end business processes spanning multiple applications, as well as front-office, back-office and custom applications designed for extensibility and customization. BEA's standards-based integration solution, BEA WebLogic Integration, is a unified integration platform designed to run UAN Integration Applications to connect users, information and systems across the enterprise.
The BEA-Siebel collaboration is not new. The two companies have been working together for some time through the Siebel Alliance Program. They have also been working with other vendors to promote Web services standards. BEA and Siebel, along with Microsoft, IBM and 21 other companies, recently submitted a specification for the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) to the OASIS standards consortium. BPEL is a specification for orchestrating multiple Web services to automate complex business processes among companies.
BEA and Siebel are also collaborating on several other emerging integration and process standards, including XML Schema, XML Query Language (XQuery), Extensible Stylesheet Transformation (XSLT) and the J2EE Connector Architecture, within BEA WebLogic Integration 8.1 and UAN.
"The IT world is no longer flat," said Morris Beton, senior vice president of business development at BEA. "It's round and revolves around solving business problems with the convergence of application development and integration. BEA and Siebel Systems believe this convergence will simplify building, integrating, and extending applications and business processes for our customers. With Universal Application Network, Siebel Systems is [defining] a model that will help speed the time to value for business integration projects."
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached