Rivals IBM, BEA set to reveal Java specs

Longtime rivals IBM and BEA last month published three new jointly developed Java specs designed to increase application portability across their app server offerings. IBM and BEA survived a long battle for J2EE application server supremacy, promoting some surprise that the two firms had joined forces.

Rod Smith, VP of Emerging Technologies in IBM's Software Group, said the companies developed three specs -- Service Data Objects (SDO), Work Manager for Application Servers, and Timer for Application Servers -- to be implemented in upcoming releases of IBM's WebSphere and BEA's WebLogic Platform.

The specs are aimed at making life easier for developers who want to connect business apps across application servers based on J2EE, Smith said.

The two companies offered the following details on the new specs:

* Service Data Objects (SDO) -- Provides a unifying programming model for data from heterogeneous data sources, including relational databases, XML data sources, Web services and enterprise information systems.

* Work Manager for Application Servers -- Provides a simple API for app server-supported concurrent execution of work items.

* Timer for Application Servers -- Provides a simple API for setting timers in an app server-supported way.

''BEA and IBM have collaborated in the past on new specifications. [Now,] we are entering a new phase where providing consistency across both companies' application servers is of paramount importance to our customers,'' said Scott Dietzen, BEA's CTO.

The companies are jointly submitting the proposed specs for Java Community Process (JCP) consideration, Dietzen said. Both IBM and BEA are members of one of the two JCP executive committees.

Please see the following related stories:
''App servers: Up from middleware'' by John K. Waters

''Oracle compares evolution of app server, database'' by John K. Waters

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at


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