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BEA’s WebLogic 9.0 goes beta

BEA Systems offered reporters and analysts a sneak peek at the upcoming version of its WebLogic Server this past week. In beta starting today, version 9.0, code-named Diablo, continues to expand on the San Jose, Calif.-based company's strategy of simplifying development of applications in a service-oriented architectures.

As expected, Diablo will provide support for Java 2 Enterprise Edition 1.4 and such Web services standards as WS-ReliableMessaging, BEA officials said. The JRockit 5.0 Java Development Kit is also part of the package. The SDK provides a Java Virtual Machine designed to support 32- and 64-bit applications for the Intel processor architecture.

The new release will also include updated versions of WebLogic Portal for Web and intranet applications, the WebLogic Workshop integrated development environment, and the Liquid Data 9.0 data and application integration technology.

Diablo will also come with an advanced diagnostics framework designed to allows administrators to identify and resolve problems in running applications in real time. It will also provide auto-tuning, a technology designed to enable specification of service levels.

BEA's founder and chairman, Alfred Chuang, lead the preview and affirmed BEA's intention to continue competing with Oracle and IBM for leadership in the app server market, dismissing a question about rumors that Oracle was interested in buying his company.

'We're very flattered that we're considered a target,' he said. 'Why acquire us if you're already the market-share leader?' Oracle has claimed to offer the fastest growing application server vendor with the largest installed base--a claim that Chuang disputes.

With characteristic wry confidence, Chuang asserted that BEA WebLogic Server 'crushes IBM and Oracle in both scale and prices.'

'From JRockit to component technology, we have the absolute cheapest technology out there, or the biggest bang for the buck,' he added.

BEA is continuing work on its standards-based integration and Web services management product, code-named Quicksilver, said Eric Stahl, the new senior director of product marketing for Weblogic. That product, which will be sold separately from WebLogic Server, is expected to enter beta testing next spring and be available later in 2005, he said.

The Diablo beta is scheduled to be available for download starting Thursday, Dec. 16. BEA plans to ship the final version, along with a new version of WebLogic Workshop, next summer.

Joining Chuang for the preview were a number of new BEA executives, including Mark Carges, the new CTO, and Wai Wong, the new executive vice presdient of products. Wong now leads the company's product development team. Marge Breya, BEA's new chief marketing officer, was also in attendance. BEA lost a number of top executives this year, including former CTO Scott Dietzen and chief architect Adam Bosworth.

About the Author

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

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