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BEA thinks liquid with SOA rollout

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BEA today introduces the AquaLogic-branded range of messaging software, services registry, data integration and security software.

AquaLogic combines existing BEA products, notably Liquid Data, while introducing web services-based software under BEA's Liquid Computing strategy. The fluid message is being beefed-up with a new corporate tag line that encourages us to "Think liquid".

BEA chief executive Alfred Chuang will join other senior executives at New York's NASDAQ Market site for today's launch, to persuade Wall Street that his company is on track with Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) products that can help return BEA to licensing growth mode. The company saw revenue from its core WebLogic Server business decline throughout 2004 and the first quarter of 2005.

Ahead of the launch, Bill Roth, vice president of product marketing, told El Reg that AquaLogic represents BEA's transition to "something more than Java. This is a whole new marketplace... we hope this will bring in additional license revenue," he said.

He denied Aqualogic would rob WebLogic of business or meant that WebLogic is being sidelined. As such, BEA plans WebLogic Server 9.0 and WebLogic Integration 8.5 "shortly".

BEA is launching four product lines: BEA AquaLogic messaging, which consists of an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and WS-Management capabilities and which is due at the end of June; the AquaLogic service registry, based on UDDI 3.0 to store SOA services; the AquaLogic data service, which consists of the former Liquid Data product and uses meta data for application and service modeling; and the AquaLogic security line, designed to provide a unified security framework for enterprise software.

AquaLogic may be new, but BEA’s method of charging is very familiar. As with WebLogic, BEA will charge $10,000 per CPU for the data service while enterprise security will be priced at $10,000 per CPU for each security module - like an LDAP server - in addition to $7,000 for an administration application. Pricing for the ESB top-outs at $45,000 per CPU. Other pricing has yet to be released.

According to Roth, BEA is "competitive" despite the fact the company, like other ISVs in middleware, face increased competition from "free" open source alternatives like JBoss.

BEA is targeting AguaLogic, meanwhile, at a class of customer it calls "application specialists". These individuals compose and orchestrate business processes and composite applications, in Java and Windows shops, rather than building applictions from code.

Roth denied BEA is using AquaLogic to again chase Microsoft developers, as it tried to do so with WebLogic Workshop some years ago. AquaLogic provides integration, and spans .NET in conjunction with other architectures like Java, he said. ®

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