BEA Puts SOA To Work

A BEA core team of technical experts will either assist or implement the solutions, depending on the size of the customer. For its top large customers, BEA said it plans to work closely with consulting partners on long-term initiatives by only providing architectural planning and design strategies, with partners delivering SOA solutions. On smaller engagements, BEA plans to play a larger role in implementing solutions, especially when systems integrators cannot tackle the projects, Graham said.

In addition to producing deliverables, the program aims to train customers how to approach SOA development with enterprise Java-oriented development strategies using BEA WebLogic Platform 8.1. The practice is broken into three phases and uses standard development and project management methodologies to deliver solutions on schedule. The first phase is free and is centered around an online assessment tool that helps create a knowledge baseline for customers. The tool, called the BEA SOA Readiness Self-Assessment, steps customers through a series of questions that determine how much they understand their application portfolios and SOA. The result of the assessment is a score that indicates steps customers should take to improve their systems.

The second phase identifies all the application workbenches and related systems that need transformation, and the third phase is the actual implementation.

Graham estimated that average project expenditures will rise 10 percent to 20 percent; maintenance costs are not taken into account because of the complexity involved during implementation. Because SOA is not an all-encompassing solution for every system in an enterprise, BEA is taking a pragmatic approach by restructuring legacy systems that can behave reliably as composite applications, Graham said.

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BEA's framework is divided into three layers--security and service management, business logic services and connectivity. BEA cannot yet support security management for these services but plans to do so in in the third quarter.

On the front end, BEA, San Jose, Calif., is also providing a common portal GUI that supplants today's portlet architecture. The GUI will have a common view for all users, regardless of how many applications need to work simultaneously within the GUI. The concept is similar to the way Windows works.