BEA To Deliver 'Free Flow' Of New Servers

The company next week plans to unveil what it calls the industry's first services infrastructure, announce a new brand name for its newest infrastructure line and describe the functions of the new server products. SOAs typically demand infrastructure software to support standards-based messaging, data retrieval/transformation and orchestration.

Code named "Free Flow," the new product family should give systems integrators a compact, production-level platform to push their SOA-building efforts. "We can monetize the services infrastructure, with products that solution providers can rely on and know will scale," said Marge Breya, BEA's chief marketing officer. "To my knowledge, IBM WebSphere doesn't even come close to articulating a product strategy as complete as we have here. We are ready to go to market today.

Envisioned as a family with five product lines, according to Breya, the new services-focused servers will enable systems integrators to build and manage composite apps originally based on applications from SAP, Oracle and PeopleSoft, for example, as well as those written in Microsoft's .Net. BEA traditionally has taken a Java-centric view.

"IBM and BEA have both tried to come up with a services infrastructure. The difference is BEA will have an actual product, said Shawn Willett, principal analyst of Current Analysis. "IBM has a lot of pieces for managing SOAs, spread over a lot of products. In that respect, BEA is ahead of IBM and possibly Oracle."

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BEA won't reveal just how many new products it will actually unveil late this week, although at least one is expected to be its long-awaited enterprise service bus, now referred to as Project Quicksilver. Quicksilver goes beyond transporting standards-based messages, typical of most ESBs. It also will include dynamic service routing and management and a services registry. BEA expects to release Quicksilver this summer, CRN has learned.

In addition, BEA will rebrand and enhance its Liquid Data server for the new services infrastructure product family. BEA's enterprise information integration software, Liquid Data allows systems integrators to set up distributed queries - accessing data directly from their sources rather than from a centralized warehouse or data mart. It solves the needs of an SOA by providing a unified metadata repository and data model, and by managing the data used by composite apps. It is expected to be available soon after launch. An updated version is expected in 2006.

BEA will also relabel and enhance its Enterprise Security server, enabling providers to expose security policies as a service that can then be reused across the enterprise. Process orchestration will be among the last products to join the new family, Breya said.