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Breaking News: Will BEA's "Beehive" Save Alfred's Stock Price?

Breaking News: Will BEA's "Beehive" Save Alfred's Stock Price?

  • JDJ Exclusive: How Long Can BEA Survive Against IBM?
  • IBM Says, "We're Extending Our Lead Against BEA!"
  • "IBM Has Widened Its Lead Over BEA, Gartner Confirms"

    BEA is expected to announce today that they will open major parts of WebLogic Workshop and donate it to the open source community in an attempt to stop losing market share against for example JBoss which is a free alternative to BEA's more expensive WebLogic licensing and support programs.

    With its code name "Beehive," BEA's global goal is to make the WebLogic Development Framework the world's leading toolset for developing applications - against competitors IBM, JBoss, and Oracle.

    Alfred Chaung's view on this was expressed in a recent interview as follows: "I think the opportunity and also the challenge at hand is how do we continue to proliferate Workshop in an exponential way."

    Typically the open source projects that have been deployed in the SME space have been tactical rather than strategic projects, but this announcement is aimed at changing that by making parts of WebLogic Workshop available to OS developers so that they can build scalable, secure apps on the so-called "OS Java" platform - i.e., strategic projects for major companies, not just in-house experiments for SMEs.

    BEA considers today's announcement big news. The details of BEA's news will show if they are actually trailing IBM which introduced earlier this month new versions of its WebSphere Studio Application Developer and WebSphere Studio Site Developer that feature ease-of-use capabilities. Sun Microsystems's "Project Rave," already announced as Java Studio Creator, is also expected to be out later this year.

    BEA Systems' stock price dropped 23 percent on Friday, its biggest plunge in more than five years, after the company missed its license sales target in the U.S.

    BEA's newest product on the market, WebLogic 8.1, did not benefit from an overall improvement in information technology spending, which was a big disappointment for the analysts - who also have concerns about the company's somewhat unstable organizational structure. Many analysts downgraded the stock on Friday and reduced the company's sales and profit forecasts for the remaining of the fiscal year. For Wall Street, execution and competition is proving to be a larger problem for BEA than anticipated.

    When JDJ reported last Thursday that IBM has widened its lead over BEA, the news story created a large amount of feedback. It will be interesting to watch BEA's announcement today, which is moved to an earlier date after intense pressure from Wall Street on Friday in an urgent attempt to control damage. BEA's news was originally planned for next week at their eWorld conference.

  • See additional news coverage after the announcement...
  • More Stories By Java News Desk

    JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

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    Most Recent Comments
    PM 05/20/04 11:54:08 AM EDT

    "Press Release Source: BEA Systems, Inc.

    Top IT Market Research Firm Reports BEA Doubled in Size in Integration Server Market for Second Year in a Row
    Thursday May 20, 11:21 am ET

    Capitalizing on its SOA Strengths, BEA Jumps Two Spots in the IDC 2003 Marketshare Listing for the Worldwide Integration Server Software Platform (ISSP) Market

    Leveraging its strengths in Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), BEA "grew its ISSP market share dramatically" according to the report, and jumped two spots in the annual IDC integration server software rankings, tying for third place in terms of market-share percentage with 8%."

    Woooowww a full 8% of the market! Only 92% more to go.

    Monte Kluemper 05/20/04 03:17:37 AM EDT

    This is the second article from JDJ in two weeks where journalistic integrity was discarded for the fruit market approach to reporting. All these apples to oranges comparisons are making me hungry.

    What BEA is open sourcing is not so much the graphical Workshop tool, but instead the Workshop framework that interprets and compiles the metadata generated by the tool. Other tools like JBuilder already offer ways to generate metadata for the Workshop framework. BEA''s move to open source this framework means that customers will now have a choice of app server for deploying their metadata-enhanced code.

    While there''s still discussion as to whether or not metadata-driven applications will be integral to the future of J2EE (I think they will), anyone who considers metadata to have its place in Java development can only view this move as positive, given the standards leadership BEA has shown over the course of its history.

    Nicholas 05/19/04 05:14:17 PM EDT

    Top Java IDESs, SD Times Poll (BZ Research), May 15 2004:
    Sun: 14.3%
    IBM VAJ: 16.4%
    Oracle: 22.3%
    IBM SAD: 26.7%
    Eclipse: 36.8%
    Borland: 39.4%

    BEA's Workshop did not even rank in this list, so it must be assumed to lie somewhere below NetBeans. Dumping Workshop like a bad habbit is probably a wise idea.

    BBT90s 05/19/04 02:22:49 PM EDT

    This is really good news!!!
    Yet another great move from a company who already donated great technology like XMLBeans to open source.
    This will really help, especially ISV''s who now get a great framework virtually for free. Naturally WebLogic will still be the best application infrastructure to deploy it on.
    But select parts of the framework like pageflows will also run well on for example Tomcat for non enterprise deployments.

    kikuyo4me 05/19/04 01:56:33 PM EDT

    Not good at all IMHO!

    The part of the tag line that is very revealing is this:

    "Protection from Vendor Lock-in "

    That is a very real problem for BEA sales right now. WebLogic 8.1 platform, as it stands now, is a very strong ''Lock-in'' for BEA. There''s all this ''stuff'' in the form of callable APIs, but if you develop to those APIs, you have to pay very big bucks to BEA and ONLY BEA to deploy whatever system you develop. You are ''locked-in'' to BEA for deployment licenses and maintenance fees.

    I gurantee you that tag line was created in direct response to field sales feedback about why they aren''t able to move 8.1 platform in the quantities BEA had hoped.

    But how will Beehive help BEA?

    It smacks of a desperation move, a quick fix to stem the tide of the open source movement. It will also have a chilling effect on current 8.1 Platform deals, as customers hold off to see if they can get a cheaper or free open source implementation of what is currently available in Platform 8.1.

    Sorry longs, I don''t think this bodes well for the long term, watch for pops and exit as painlessly as you can!

    IMHO of course!

    IONAlotofstock 05/19/04 01:52:32 PM EDT

    Who?s the ding-dong thinking Open Source is a disease? Open Source is getting rid of the disease! The ?disease? is the vendors who provide meaningless incremental features in an attempt to strangle our IT investment dollars. The OS, the database, the application server and the development environment are all commodity products. Let?s get vendors out of the commodities so they can use their intellectual muscle in more productive pursuits such as true business process solutions. BEA is a classic example of how you can hang on too long to a sinking boat and (possibly) be sucked under as it sinks. IONA did the same thing with CORBA and the list goes on. Time to swim or be eaten!

    Observer 05/19/04 01:36:33 PM EDT

    This proves that there is no money to be made in the platform sale as well as tools sale. I think BEA''s attempt to grow into a Business Proccess Management vendor with their Weblogic Integrator product will be their last (and the least likely) chance to survive.

    Mike Wooten 05/19/04 12:15:53 PM EDT

    I don''t get JDJ''s recent preoccupation with FUDing BEA. Did someone recently rub one of your editor''s the wrong way, or something?

    Did anyone at JDJ even stop to think about how this kind of FUDing, plays directly into the camp of those that question the viability of the J2EE platform, in general. These Fox News-style, "Is WebSphere better than WebLogic?", "Can JBoss steal marketshare from Oracle 10g?", headlines really are inappropriate for a magazine named Java Developer''s Journal. I''m not trying to defend BEA here. I just don''t see the merit in FUDing any company that is honestly trying to keep us all, "moving forward", open-source or otherwise. This is supposed to be the "Java Developer''s Journal", not the "Java Developer''s Tabloid Press".

    So JDJ editors, can you please just get back to the "win-win" articles :-) They really do help IT folks (and Java Developers) make informed decisions about today''s and tommorrow''s emerging (and disruptive) technologies.

    An avid "Fox News Network" watcher

    pay for software 05/19/04 11:59:58 AM EDT

    Open Source is a disease.

    Open Source is the problem, not the solution.

    See ya in the next industry...

    Boogyman 05/19/04 11:14:57 AM EDT

    Anyone that has not bought BEA stock better buy quickly as its about to shoot up!

    Trading 101, buy good companies while they are cheap!

    AM 05/19/04 10:48:42 AM EDT

    I am of the opinion that BEA will not be able to survive at all in long-term. My prime reason for this opinion is that I believe, money cannot be made by just selling middleware. In most large accounts, IBM/Oracle/Sun are giving away middleware (app/web/portal/dir servers) to get more hardware and service revenue. It will be hard for BEA to compete with, for example, Sun''s $100/employee middleware pricing model.

    Richard 05/19/04 10:38:03 AM EDT

    I think it is funny that this article makes no mention of Eclipse. Is this really an effort to break the momentum swing to either the JBoss'' toolset or IBM WebSphere tooling offerings. Both of these competitors have toolsets based upon Eclipse. Do they hope to effect a platform with such a critical mass? Perhaps this is an exit strategy from this space?

    MarketUpdate 05/19/04 10:31:23 AM EDT

    Having fallen 23% since its close of $10.78 on May 13th and more than 40% since the beginning of March, Bear Stearns now believes that "much of the near-term downside in the stock has been captured."

    "At Friday''s closing price of $8.35, we now believe the stock is about fairly valued."

    RJ 05/19/04 10:14:44 AM EDT

    Isn''t this just a case of playing catch up with WebLogic''s competitor, IBM WebSphere Studio, which is built entirely on the open sourced Eclipse project?

    GeronimoRocks 05/19/04 08:14:39 AM EDT

    So, how does this help WLS compeyte with JBoss, Apache Geronimo and JOnAS?

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