Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Weblogic

Weblogic: Article

Building on a Stable Foundation

Building on a Stable Foundation

The editors of WebLogic Developer's Journal recently sat down with Olivier Helleboid, BEA's President of Products, to talk about WebLogic's direction in 2003

WLDJ: Tell us about your role as the new president of products.
Olivier Helleboid: I am responsible for all product development activity at BEA. That means the engineering and product management teams, and leading the product strategy and the definition of the future product from development to general availability. That's true for all the WebLogic products and Tuxedo - the entire BEA product family.

WLDJ: What was your background before joining BEA and why this role?
OH: I've been in the enterprise computing industry for roughly 25 years; in that time, I spent about 18 years at Hewlett-Packard in a variety of roles in the networking space and the server area. During my last four years at HP I managed the HP OpenView software business and its business in the enterprise management space. That group generated about $1 billion for HP in my last year with the company. After that I was president and CEO of RainFinity, a start-up company that provides high availability clustering software for network devices.

What really attracted me to BEA was its tremendous position in the marketplace, its number one position in the application server space, and its strategy for leadership in the whole enterprise application infrastructure area. This is a tremendous opportunity to lead BEA to the next wave.

WLDJ: How do you find new features and products that you want to incorporate into the BEA product stack?
OH: As we spend a lot of time and resources developing new products, it is absolutely vital to make sure that those new products are tied to what our customers want. There are a number of processes. The major one is that our product managers spend a lot of time with customers and partners, ISVs, and system integrators to get their feedback. New ideas for innovations also come from the engineers themselves, and discussions with industry analysts also generate new products. A good example is BEA Liquid Data for WebLogic, which is a completely unique product for data integration; that idea came from some internal engineering teams. Overall, it's a combination of gathering customer input, really understanding where the customer pain points are, and always looking for ways to innovate from a technical perspective.

WLDJ: What announcements are you making at BEA eWorld ?
OH: The eWorld theme is around convergence. That represents what we see happening in the industry right now. Customers' requirements and enterprise computing are converging, especially in the application infrastructure space between development and integration. BEA's overall strategy is to deliver a unique WebLogic Platform that helps customers build, integrate, and extend their software applications in the enterprise. It brings together the notion of developing an application with the idea of integrating with your existing products.

We have a very strong set of new products across all elements of the WebLogic Platform to deliver on this notion of convergence, of helping customers do application development and integration in a single environment.

WLDJ: Would you say that BEA is heading more towards development products or administration and management solutions?
OH: Both. BEA's strength has been around development and deployment. This is really to help customers develop new applications, integrate with their existing environments, and then deploy these new applications in their environment. That's the core of our business today. As we look into the future, we are definitely going to move into areas around the operations side - for example, security. The last release of WebLogic Server included a new security framework that allows customers to more easily manage the security of their applications. Customers really want an integrated solution, a platform that deals with the whole life cycle - developing the application, integrating it with their existing environment, deploying it, rolling it out, and then maintaining it, managing it, doing the updates, keeping it current, etc. That's what we are offering.

WLDJ: What do you think about BEA's products regarding ease of use versus extensibility and how are you balancing them?
OH: BEA made a huge leap forward this past year when we introduced WebLogic Workshop. We provide enterprise application infrastructure, and by its very nature it's a pretty complex area. When you look at enterprise environments, they have many, many applications from many different vendors, many different technologies, different hardware operating systems. We have to make things simpler for our customers because just adding to the complexity won't help them. The goal of many of our solutions is to help customers develop new applications more easily and faster than previously possible, and WebLogic Workshop plays a big role in that. A number of studies have shown that by using WebLogic tools you can develop applications much faster in a much smaller number of steps than with alternative solutions. The traditional BEA WebLogic application server also has proven to be very fast to implement. One of our customers is Toshiba; they deployed a portal solution to 15,000 dealers in North America. From start to finish it took them 16 weeks to implement a fairly complicated, large-scale application that connects into their back-end system. Again, we are talking just weeks to deploy applications to make it easier. We sometimes talk about our value proposition as 'Enterprise Made Easy'; we recognize that we are in a complex environment; we need to invest to make it simpler and faster to deploy applications in that environment.

WLDJ: We've talked about simpler and faster. What advantages aside from those do you see BEA's Web services stack having over WebSphere?
OH: Our products are designed to be loosely coupled and work well together, and the whole WebLogic platform is built on our application server. We have a common WebLogic application server as the deployment engine for all of our solutions. WebSphere has many different application server environments that don't work together. We have an integration solution that works with WebLogic Integration, WebLogic Portal, and Liquid Data, all of which have a common deployment environment. WebLogic Workshop sits on top of that and integrates it into a single development environment. That's one of the major benefits to the customer: products that are designed and built to work together out of the box mean ease of use and ease of deployment for customers.

Another big advantage we have over WebSphere is being ahead in new technologies. Take standards as an example; we're 18 months to 2 years ahead in delivering the latest releases supporting the latest versions of J2EE. We keep on releasing new innovations, such as WebLogic Workshop and Liquid Data, ahead of WebSphere. Another thing that also works in our favor is our industry partnerships with ISVs.

WLDJ: What about Oracle's offering?
OH: In the application server area, we don't see them. From our perspective, BEA is the market leader in the app server market. It will be hard for Oracle to break into the app server market in a meaningful way. The other big thing, as you know, is that the industry is now evolving beyond the app server and is really delivering a platform. We have the WebLogic Platform with WebLogic Workshop and WebLogic Integration and everything else in that area. We really have the market share, the customer base to prove that. Oracle is in the database space and that's where we see them, in terms of interconnecting with Oracle databases.

WLDJ: A lot of vendors are developing and marketing solutions around the BEA WebLogic platform. Borland ships an IDE that integrates nicely with WebLogic. Systinet has a Web services framework, and companies like Alignment Software and Precise Software are building management and performance-monitoring solutions for WebLogic. How does BEA work with these vendors when you could just as easily release a similar solution that would affect their business?
OH: Those vendors and those partnerships are very important to us. Obviously, our strength is in putting out this application infrastructure for others to build solutions on. These partners are building applications either in vertical spaces - financial, for example, or transportation - or horizontal applications - customer relationship management or security. They allow our end users to have a much richer set of functionality that is ready for use on the WebLogic Platform. We want to do everything we can to make it easier and faster for our partners to develop on WebLogic and to release new products on it. We have a sizeable team, and a set of programs in sales, marketing, and development to help those partners develop and deploy solutions. We have a standard API and tools documentation and training support for partners, so they can build on WebLogic, whether it's a portlet or a portal solution, or a control for WebLogic Workshop. We want to make sure that's all built in, whether it's also adapters for WebLogic Integration, so they can stay up to date - we can help them do that.

WLDJ: A lot of your products are downloadable for free for a trial basis. Why is this important for the developer community?
OH: It helps to make it easier and faster. In many cases, developers want to try new releases as early as possible and see what's changed and what they have to change in their product to tie into this new release. It gives developers an early view in terms of what they can work with. That works both for the existing developers to stay up-to-date with us and it allows us to attract new developers so that they can try our software and see the benefits of it, see what they can do around it, without having to commit to anything financially. It's a very powerful tool. We have a very strong program that I'm sure that you're familiar with, dev2dev (see WebLogic Developer's Journal, Vol. 2, issue 1).

We work with more than 500,000 developers within that whole program with training, not just the free trial. It's the training seminars, user groups, and a lot of resources that they have available just to make them more comfortable and more expert in working with our software.

WLDJ: Let's talk about the Java Community Process.
OH: That's another thing that BEA is very involved with. The role we have around standards is not just that of adopting and building into a product, it's really a leadership role of driving innovation and driving the definition of new standards. In a number of cases, our engineers have come up with new technical solutions for easier development and then brought that innovation to the JCP in the form of JSRs, worked with other vendors to make it broad enough and adopted, and then the whole community - vendors and developers - can leverage that standard. This work is very important for us because, as you know, BEA is built on standards. Having a proprietary interface doesn't work for us. Our products and architecture are based on an open standards-based approach, so that we can get the broadest adoption of our technology across the industry.

WLDJ: BEA is known particularly for the standards issue. What about open source?
OH: Open source is another interesting area. We have incorporated a number of open-source products and components into our products - Apache is one example. It's something that we believe in and participate in. A number of BEA employees are connected with that community and provide feedback to some of the proposals that are made there. We are currently looking at submitting some of our technology to the open-source space in the next year.

WLDJ: Is there anything else you'd like to mention?
OH: I'd like to reinforce that BEA is in a leadership position. BEA has been very strong in the application server market and in the development of standards-based applications around Java. What we are doing now is adding to that with this notion of convergence - of developing and integrating applications around a single platform based on standards. That's really the big evolution for WebLogic and for BEA - to go from being number one in the application server market to being number one in the application infrastructure market. Industry analyst firm Gartner calls it the application platform suite market. From a developer perspective, we are giving them one unique environment where they can develop and code an application, but also connect to SAP or Oracle or whatever applications are there, and build a portal to extend with third-party security components or Borland tools and so on, all in a single environment running on a single app server. That's totally unique in the industry and BEA is leading that. I think developers will find that's going to make their lives much, much easier.

More Stories By WebLogic News Desk

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.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...