BEA Realigns to Focus on E-Commerce Transactions
- By Scott Bekker
BEA Systems Inc. announced today it would realign to focus on what it calls the four key elements of e-commerce transactions: servers, integration, applications and services.
The announcement was made at the company's first annual E-commerce for the E-Generation symposium being held in San Francisco. BEA (www.beasys.com) hopes the realignment will show customers it's able to provide an "end-to-end" e-commerce solution.
The four company divisions will be named the E-Commerce Server Division, E-Commerce Integration Division, E-Commerce Application Components Division, and E-Commerce Services Division. Also at the symposium, the e-commerce server division released WebLogic Enterprise Server, version 5.0.
The latest version of the Java-based application server will include support for CORBA and Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs) as well as the ability to utilize Sun Microsystems' Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE). "E-commerce is about transactions and our heritage is about transactions," says Joe Menard, president of BEA's e-commerce server division. "We believe there are only a couple companies that can do this whole stack." The other one, Menard says, is IBM Corp. (www.ibm.com).
The other newly named divisions are making their own moves in the industry. The integration division will spearhead the effort behind eLink, BEA's integration technology infrastructure that includes an integration server, process management options, integration components for leading databases, customer relationship management (CRM) and ERP applications, and an XML adapter.
There will be two key enhancements to eLink in 2000 including an Information Integrator that provides data transformation rules and formatting, and an eProcess Integrator that manages interaction and workflows between BEA eLink integration components, existing applications, and new EJB components. "Customers seem to want to get to market faster with an end-to-end stack of software that not only does the hosting but can integrate with multiple systems from ERP and mainframe and allow them to have the infrastructure to build applications and have Lego-like building blocks to build e-commerce systems," Menard explains.
The integration division will also introduce two new product sets in 2000. The first is a Java integration broker that will extend Web-enabled EJB applications within and across enterprises, and second is an XML-based business collaboration suite that will enable companies to create business communities on the Web. Both products will fully interoperate with eLink.
The application components division will advance on BEA's recent acquisition of The Theory Center and its catalogue of EJBs. The first product in the division will be the BEA Commerce Ready Components, part of what will be a family of Commerce Ready products, which includes over 80 standard EJB components that can be assembled into e-commerce applications. In the first quarter of 2000, BEA will introduce the BEA CommerceReady Portal that will feature personalization capabilities that will allow companies to create a single interface to all of their e-commerce systems.
Finally, the services division will emphasize fast time-to-market with BEA's Accelerated Processes Methodology. BEA services include customer support, professional consulting and educational services.
BEA's Menard says that even though most of BEA's technology essentially remains to be middleware, most people view that as industry jargon. He explains that the word "transactions" explains much more efficiently the function of BEA's product line.
When asked if BEA's technology could be called the "non-Microsoft" middleware solution, Menard says "yes." "We think that the world wants standards and rapid technology," he observes. "We think Java has proven it can do that and if you want to do e-commerce applications today, you want to use Java." Menard maintains, however, BEA's brand value is it remains vendor neutral. -- Brian Ploskina
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.