Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/01/oracle_bea_convergence/

BEA gets last laugh on Oracle app server

While other products get death row

By Gavin Clarke

Posted in Applications, 1st July 2008 21:13 GMT

In Oracle's world nothing changes, everything stays the same and no products ever die. Except those things that get "converged" or downgraded.

Among them, Oracle's Application Server that, in the wake of Oracle's $8.5bn acquisition of one-time rival BEA Systems, is losing out to BEA's WebLogic Server.

Oracle president Charles Phillips and senior vice president of Oracle server technologies Thomas Kurian on Tuesday outlined broad, post-acquisition roadmap plans to make BEA's WebLogic Server their "strategic Java 2 Enterprise Edition container". Future versions of WebLogic will include additions from Oracle's own app server such as coherence for in-memory grid capabilities and TopLink for object relational mapping.

Things aren't so rosy for BEA's two portals, however. The WebLogic and AquaLogic portals will "evolve" to "converge" with Oracle's Web Center Framework and Web Center Suite, respectively. That's how you turn four portals in to two.

BEA's WebLogic Workshop, meanwhile, is being released to a sweet and lingering kinda death by fitting into an Oracle pack for Eclipse along with other Eclipse elements from Oracle. This pack will be made available free of charge. Kurian made it clear during a Tuesday web cast that Oracle wants a single development environment and that JDeveloper is that environment, while Application Development Framework (ADF) is Oracle's framework of choice.

On the SOA front, the Oracle and AquaLogic Service Busses are going to be converged, as are the Oracle Complex Event Manager and WebLogic Event Server. The AquaLogic Business Process Manager Designer will be added to Oracle's Business Process Designer. The AquaLogic Repository stays as Oracle lacked this capability, but the OEM'd registry from AmberPoint will cede to the Oracle Service Registry. Oracle will also keep BEA's Tuxedo for distributed transaction processing.

Spend, spend, spend

Despite what is some clear rationalization, which will see some products as you know them cease to exist and others downgraded in importance, Philips and Kurian committed to continued investment and support across-the-board for all their middleware. Eh?

Products destined for the great convergence in the sky will receive development and maintenance for another nine years - that's almost a wait on death row in some US states.

Products considered "strategic" - those from BEA with features Oracle had lacked - are getting updated quickest - over a six- to 18-month period. BEA products that stay will get a new nomenclature: Oracle 10g release 3. They'll be offered with the same level of support as Oracle's other Fusion products and show a "significantly higher degree of interoperability between BEA and Oracle middleware," Kurian said.

Just in case you're feeling like all this is a little, you know, too good to be true and that "convergence" between BEA and Oracle's middleware might not go smoothly, Oracle is extending the life support for its 10g Fusion middleware R2 and R3. Oracle will provide an "additional year of flexibility".

Also, there's no pressure in migrating - especially you eBusiness Suite customers using the now deprioritized Oracle application server. You won't be forced to migrate to WebLogic, even though it's now Oracle's flag bearer.

For BEA users, the story is mixed. Oracle is offering you the option of using its per-user and insane per core pricing schemes, which can translate into a 47 per cent WebLogic price hike. Or, you can just ignore Oracle's methods and stick to the old BEA systems.

Worry about the gas

So don't worry, all you BEA and Oracle users. According to Phillips, Oracle is a master at integrating companies and retaining engineers. Also, Oracle's got the revenue to continue investing in middleware - $22bn by the last count. "This [BEA] is not just another acquisition for us. We have been investing in the middleware business for years," Phillips cooed.

So, then, everything is good. Nothing's going away, you won't be forced to migrate, and you can pay Oracle the way you prefer. We can all now go home and worry about something else, like water shortages or the rising cost of petrol. Yeah, right.®