BEA To Deliver Free Flow Of Services With New Servers

The company this week plans to unveil what it calls the industry's first services infrastructure, a new brand name for its latest infrastructure line and the functions of the new server products.

SOAs typically demand infrastructure software to support standards-based messaging, data retrieval/transformation and orchestration.

The new product family, code-named Free Flow, should give 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, chief marketing officer at BEA. "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."

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Envisioned as family with five product lines, the new services-focused servers will enable integrators to build and manage composite apps originally based on applications from Oracle, PeopleSoft and SAP, as well as those written in Microsoft's .Net, Breya said. San Jose, Calif.-based 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 at Current Analysis, Sterling, Va. "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."

BEA won't say how many new products it actually is planning to unveil later this week, although its long-awaited enterprise service bus, now dubbed Project Quicksilver, is expected to be among them. QuickSilver goes beyond transporting standards-based messages to include dynamic service routing and management and a services registry. BEA expects to release Quicksilver this summer, CRN has learned.

BEA plans to rebrand its Liquid Data enterprise information integration software, which lets integrators set up distributed queries—accessing data directly from their sources rather than from a centralized warehouse or data mart. It is expected to be available soon after launch.