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WebLogic to open gates on Oracle rationalization

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Oracle's post BEA Systems acquisition roadmap hits the ground running in the next two weeks with the delivery of version 10.3 of BEA's popular application server.

WebLogic Server 10.3 has been released to manufacturing with customers expected to get final CDs in the next 14 days, senior vice president of Oracle server technologies Thomas Kurian told BEA users at an Oracle event on Monday.

"WebLogic 10.3 is the foundation from which a lot of this rationalization and integration of products will be built from," Kurian said.

The long-awaited Java container will spark a rev of BEA WebLogic and AquaLogic products to support version 10.3 and provide interoperability with corresponding Oracle products.

Oracle's Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Business Process Management (BPM), identity manager, portal and content management products will be certified on 10.3 by the end of this calendar year or by the start of early next year, Kurian promised.

Version 10.3 will herald the first in two waves of integration between BEA and Oracle products, a roadmap announced last month and also due for completion by the end of this year.

WebLogic is getting an infusion of features from Oracle's Application Server now that WebLogic has become Oracle's "strategic" Java container. WebLogic's getting Oracle's Coherence in-memory object grid, designed to speed retrieval of data in very large and frequently accessed sites and systems. Coherence is capable of scaling to 128 nodes, and it's used by financial services company Barclays and travel web site Orbitz, according to Kurian.

BEA's application server will also get Oracle's web services stack, security providers, LDAP support and JMS. WebLogic - along with BEA's AquaLogic and BPM modeler - will also plug into Oracle's JDeveloper integrated development environment (IDE).

BEA's Tuxedo is being integrated with Oracle clusters while BEA's super-fast JRockit virtual machine (JVM) will be extended beyond its current 32- and 64-bit Intel platforms for Windows and Linux. Oracle hopes to announce support for Hewlett-Packard's Itanium at next month's OpenWorld in San Francisco, California.

This WebLogic stack will be released in two packages: Oracle WebLogic Suite for Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) programming, and Oracle WebLogic Application Grid apparently for "very, very high-level programming in Java alone".

Also in this first wave, the WebLogic and AquaLogic portals will be merged to create Oracle's Web Center Framework and Web Center Suite.

SOA second wave

The second-half of next year will see integration between the remaining BEA and Oracle SOA products. Judging by what Oracle announced last month, that appears to mean convergence of Oracle and AquaLogic Service Busses and Oracle Complex Event Manager and WebLogic Event Server, with the AquaLogic Business Process Manager Designer added to Oracle's Business Process Designer.

It seems Oracle is still going through details on seeing whether it's possible to map between the Oracle and BEA products schema. All will get added to JDeveloper tooling.

Kurian tackled concerns that using Oracle meant an "Oracle-only" technology stack by pointing to support in its middleware and tools for non-Oracle products and for open source frameworks. Oracle's model-view controller framework Application Development Framework (ADF) is getting support for the Spring Framework and Apache Software Foundation's Struts. He also pledged continued support for other vendors' JVMs and databases, adding Oracle is working with Microsoft to improve integration between Oracle Web Center and Microsoft's SharePoint Portal Server.

"There will be no forced migration," Kurian said. "You may hear from people who don't know the details of this, that Oracle will force you migrate...You should frankly ask your Oracle rep because a lot of our competitors put out stuff that is factually not true."®

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