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BEA Systems has been stoking up the hype for a trio of long-promised technologies that add Web 2.0 capabilities to its middleware.

The middleware vendor used an emerging technology event in Southern California to unveil AquaLogic Ensemble, AquaLogic Pages and AquaLogic Pathways - previously known as projects Runner, Builder and Graffiti respectively, which have been in development since at least late 2005.

BEA took the wraps off the trio, expected next quarter, as middleware competitor IBM prepares to add Web 2.0 capabilities to its ubiquitous enterprise groupware.

IBM is expected to release Lotus Connections and Lotus Quickr as part of a major update to its email and collaboration suite, also next quarter. Unveiled at Lotusphere in January, IBM promised Connections would help colleagues network by locating them according to interests through blogs, profiles and listings. Quickr, we're told, will allow staff to share content in Notes, SameTime and Microsoft Office.

More on the other social networking thinking percolating inside IBM can be found here.

BEA is taking a more web-development feel in its approach to Web 2.0. Ensemble is software that lets developers and IT operations staff create and manage "mashup" applications in mixed environments, Pages targets so-called knowledge workers who wish to put enterprise data into web-style applications for greater availability, while Pathways uses bookmarking and tags with search and activity analytics for users to find and share data held in repositories such as Microsoft's SharePoint and IBM's Lotus Notes. ®

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