BEA unveils new SOA tools

BEA Systems today unveiled a new architecture and tools to help support companies moving toward a service-oriented architecture (SOA) by separating business processes from packaged applications.


Unveiled at its BEAWorld 2006 conference, the new SOA 360 is middleware joined together by lightweight messaging instead of traditional hard-coded integration, said Alfred Chuang, BEA's chairman and CEO.

The 360 Platform – which will span BEA's Tuxedo, WebLogic and AquaLogic product families – is based on SOA standards, he said.

"SOA ripples through applications, systems, business processes and touches everyone in the business, including all the existing applications we are maintaining today," Chuang said. "[SOA 360] is the first time you can separate applications from the business process. You control your business process, not the application controls the business process."

The new architecture underneath the middleware is called MicroService Architecture (MSA) and based on the concept of a network service, using event-driven notification services to publish and discover the appropriate modular components, or micro-services. BEA aims to have all its products using this new architecture by the end of 2008.

The architecture is intended to support an expected massive growth of web services with an infrastructure that can address the connectivity and resilience requirements that are not handled well today by a distributed bus approach. The architecture also will address dynamic routing to allow alternate paths to a destination to be found based on cost, availability, congestion and context.

BEA also announced BEA WorkSpace 360, a unified set of SOA tools designed to bring business analysts, architects, developers and IT operations workers into a shared workspace for collaboration and interaction. The workspace tools will be rolled out next year.

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