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Pharmaceutical Giant Inks BEA WebLogic Contract and Embraces J2EE

Pharmaceutical Giant Inks BEA WebLogic Contract and Embraces J2EE

BEA Systems, Inc., has won a contract with one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. BEA WebLogic Server will provide AstraZenaca with an open platform for application delivery.

Discovery Information Systems was the division of AstraZeneca involved the BEA deal. In announcing the agreement, Discovery IS technical architect and application server component manager Neil Chadwick explained how he'd taken advice from industry analysts and reviewed a broad range of solutions capable of providing an open platform for application delivery before deciding on BEAWebLogic Server.

"When compared to alternative application servers, BEA WebLogic Server was clearly the most appropriate solution for our business," he said. WebLogic Server will form part of the platform to integrate research data from across AstraZeneca Discovery's ten global sites, enabling the data to be accessible to anyone who needs it. A person in Canada will thus be able to access data from tests done in, say, Sweden. AstraZeneca will provide a variety of tools for further analyzing and manipulating that data.

Each day a potential drug is not on the market can cost a pharmaceutical company millions of dollars in lost sales, so any increase in productivity in drug research should result in a significant reduction in drug development costs for AstraZeneca - and a significant improvement in new leads.

Since the amount of data in the pharmaceutical industry doubles every nine months, it has become increasingly difficult and costly for researchers to search manually for information across numerous sources within AstraZeneca. Now, the speed with which Discovery will be able to share information across the world using WebLogic Server should improve the quality of decision-making, prevent duplication and reduce development time and therefore cost.

According to Discovery IS's Chadwick, "J2EE is a new route for us from our traditional client-server model, but it's clearly the path we need to take for scalable, reliable global solutions. BEA WebLogic gives us greater integration ability, thus reducing project costs - essential in an increasingly competitive market such as ours."

The Discovery deal reinforces BEA's claim to be at the very forefront of J2EE technologies. "BEA implements new standards quickly, is well supported by third-party vendors and should enable new applications to be integrated much faster than other offerings," Chadwick added. Approximately 3,500 Discovery users, he explained, will eventually have access to applications based on the BEA WebLogic Server technology and AstraZeneca expects the application to be live across all sites over the next five years.

We asked what host platforms Discovery IS was intending to use. "Two platforms will be hosting the BEA WebLogic Server," he replied, "A primary Sun Solaris platform for non-regulated systems and a Windows 2000 platform for regulated systems. Both platforms will also support Oracle and a variety of specialized Discovery tools."

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WLDJ News Desk trawls the world of e-commerce technologies for news and innovations and presents IT professionals with updates on WebLogic related technology trends, products, and services.

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