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LinuxWorld, San Francisco: More Buzz Around Beehive

LinuxWorld, San Francisco: More Buzz Around Beehive

BEA announced yesterday that additional companies will endorse its "Beehive" open source effort. Beehive received support from Hewlett-Packard, Red Hat, and from the JOnAS and Apache Geronimo application server projects.

The project, which was first announced May 19th 2004, purports to be an "easy-to-use, open source foundation for building service-oriented architecture (SOA) and enterprise Java-based applications," according to BEA's Web site. In fact, it is the source code for a large portion of BEA's application development framework for its WebLogic Workshop product.

BEA announced today that additional companies will endorse its Beehive open source effort. Beehive received support from Hewlett-Packard, Red Hat, and from the Jonas and Apache Geronimo applicatoin server projects.

Beehive includes the framework for building reusable software components called "controls" as well as web pages and web page navigations called "page flows". It is initially targeted to run in the popular Apache Tomcat servlet engine. The move by BEA to open source Beehive was seen as a way to blunt criticism of having a then-proprietary technology for dealing with UI and componentization.

This announcement suggests that Beehive and the related "Pollinate" project are gaining momentum in the Linux/Open Source world with the inclusion of Linux market leader Red Hat, as well as open source application servers JOnAS and Apache Geronimo. This is happening even though the open source project is not in full swing and daily code updates are not yet available.

Work is underway to integrate Beehive into Eclipse, widely recognized as the marketing leading Java development environment in enterprise. This project, called "Pollinate," is being undertaken by a company called Instantiations. "Instantiations is making great progress on Pollinate, which is the Eclipse plug-ins for Beehive," said Dave Cotter, Director of Developer Marketing at BEA.

The announcement also points to a growing rift in the J2EE applications development arena. Application server rival IBM is very heavily touting a Struts/JavaServer Faces combination which has significant overlap with Beehive.

However, work is being done to make sure Beehive and Struts/JavaServer Faces work together. The first indication of this is that Struts/JavaServer Faces creator Craig McClanahan is listed as a "Mentor" on the Beehive site at apache.org. The second indication is that the next version of BEA's workshop will have support for both JavaServer Faces and Beehive. "Our intent is that the two be compatible," said Cotter.

While Cotter admits that there is some confusion between Beehive and JavaServer Faces, he suggests that the real differentiator is ease-of-use for developers. "The number of people in the world who can figure out who Struts is small, and page flows on top struts expands the number of people who can build Struts based applications," said Cotter.

Cotter was interviewed on the phone from the O'Reilly Open Source convention in Portland. The conference was well attended, and the general tenor of the conference seemed to support BEA's latest move. "I am shocked by the attendance at the Open Source conference," Said Cotter. Much of the discussion was on how to make better development environments. "The Open Source community is responding to customer demand," he said, suggesting that Beehive and Pollinate will be riding the next wave of Open Source innovation.

More Stories By Bill Roth

Bill Roth is a Silicon Valley veteran with over 20 years in the industry. He has played numerous product marketing, product management and engineering roles at companies like BEA, Sun, Morgan Stanley, and EBay Enterprise. He was recently named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Bloggers.

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