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Convergence - BEA eWorld 2003

Convergence - BEA eWorld 2003

This year's BEA eWorld 2003 show is the center of attention for BEA's product announcements and vision for the upcoming year, exciting stuff indeed. The theme for this year's conference is "convergence." You'll notice that this theme is likewise ingrained in the articles in this issue of WLDJ to provide continuity with the show.

This issue contains articles from visionaries in the Internet infrastructure landscape, including BEA, HP, Intel, and Yahoo!. Take a look at the BEA Platform from a pervasive computing perspective? applications built in the future will have to be designed to reach an audience over numerous computing platforms or distribution channels. As data and distribution channels converge, application infrastructure platforms like BEA WebLogic and computing platforms from the likes of HP and Intel are necessary to get the information into the right hands at the right time, anytime to be exact.

I look forward to seeing how BEA will once again revolutionize development of enterprise applications this year with its release of BEA WebLogic Platform 8.1. BEA took advantage of the past year, fine-tuning the integration of its complete product stack into a single, installable, manageable platform. This month, Will Lyons, a senior product manager for BEA, explains the new enhancements in WebLogic Platform 8.1. BEA has made an even deeper convergence of product lines with an emphasis on a unified development environment under WebLogic Workshop. The initial release of WebLogic Workshop, announced at last year's eWorld, focused on easing the design of Web services. The new Workshop now supports the BEA Platform's entire product stack, including Portal and WebLogic Integration. With WebLogic Workshop Platform 8.1, the development of Web applications, portals, business processes, and Web services all benefit from Workshop's innovative approach toward visual design, development, and runtime components.

This month, Carl Sjogreen of BEA emphasizes the importance of BEA's vision of converging design time and runtime components within WebLogic Workshop. He elaborates on its visual design environment, which now allows the design of workflows and drag-and-drop design of Web pages. Javadoc annotations are then used to describe the properties of these components and enable Workshop's runtime to build, compile, and deploy the J2EE components necessary to implement the plumbing for you.

"Workshop is exciting," you say, "but isn't it proprietary?" A convergence of open-source and proprietary, yet standards-based, software is taking place in the application infrastructure market. Even Workshop's Web application runtime is based on Apache Jakarta's Struts, the leading JSP framework on the market (or not on the market; it's open source and free). This issue includes another column from the office of the CTO, this month by Scott Dietzen and Yaron Goland, and an interview with Olivier Helleboid, BEA's president of products. Scott mentions the importance of both WebLogic and open source in today's application infrastructure, and Olivier confirms the benefits of building on standards and open source.

The question remains, "Is Workshop proprietary?" While BEA is integrating key pieces of open source and enriching the development experience with Java Web Services (JWS) and J2EE controls, it is also giving back to the development community. BEA plans to open up some of its product stack in the near future and it is currently involved in the Java Community Process (JSR-181) to standardize its innovations around JWS.

"Convergence" is a theme that transcends BEA eWorld 2003. WLDJ will continue to cover it and BEA's new platform in the months to come.

More Stories By Jason Westra

Jason Westra is the CTO of Verge Technologies Group, Inc. (www.vergecorp.com). Verge is a Boulder, CO based firm specializing in eBusiness solutions with Enterprise JavaBeans.

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