BEA touts Genesis project for next-gen apps

CEO Chuang stresses legacy, packaged systems will no longer suffice as mashups and other composite dynamic apps take center stage

BEA Systems is planning a dynamic application infrastructure codenamed "Project Genesis," for building next-generation business applications that incorporate technologies including mashups.

BEA sees a new generation of flexible, dynamic, and real-time composite applications emerging built on concepts like SOA, said Alfred Chuang, BEA Chairman, CEO, and president, during the BEAWorld conference in San Francisco on Tuesday morning.

"Genesis is a system that radically simplifies the way that we create, operate, and govern dynamic next-generation applications," said Chuang. Genesis is expected to be a set of products enabling the whole lifecycle of dynamic business applications, including the ability to build mashups and dynamic business infrastructure, according to the company.

"The goal is the 24-hour product [development] cycle," with Genesis, said Bill Roth, vice president of the BEA Workshop business unit.

Dynamic applications focus on individual needs. "Dynamic business applications are tailored to the individual, to be tailored for the person so the user doesn't need to switch from app to app to complete a task," Chuang said.

The Genesis platform will feature user-based pricing and incorporate SaaS capabilities, Chuang said. The company's Workspace 360 technology serves as the development environment for Genesis.

Packaged applications can no longer be the focus, according to Chuang. "We cannot innovate with packaged enterprise applications because we can't afford to work with them. They're rigid and monolithic systems," he said.

Chuang did not immediately provide details on when Genesis would be available.

Chuang stressed the evolution of the Internet as a tool for self expression and productivity. He also touted mashups, describing them as generally Web-based applications that leverage consumer-oriented sites for external facing audiences. But mashups now are spreading to the enterprise.

"Mashups are an example of how the world is changing so rapidly," with mashups available for purposes ranging from finding the 100 best fishing holes in the United States to rating dance moves, he said.

Following Chuang's presentation, Comcast CIO Andrew Baer touted his company's use of SOA after presenting an overview of the company's video, cable Internet and voice products. The company is building an infrastructure featuring SOA and intended to provide for business flexibility.

"I want us to be in apposition where if the needs to come up with a new idea, in many, many cases from a technology perspective, we can launch that in 24 hours," Baer said.

"We are firmly committed to SOA and a set of loosely coupled, coarse-grained services with all kinds of implementations underneath that," said Baer.

Comcast is using BEA products, such as the company's AquaLogic Service Bus and the WebLogic Server application server.

Comcast has goals such as improving its call center with a productivity portal for 20,000 customer service representatives.

Also at the conference, BEA announced the first product component of its WorkSpace 360 environment with the release of BEA AquaLogic Registry Repository 3.0.

The repository can provide shared metadata management and structured workflow processes. Also, the registry is designed to improve and management and governance of SOA deployments. Featured in version 3.0 are advanced workflows to automate approval-based processes, a metadata interoperability framework, an Eclipse plug-in, and built-in best practices.

WorkSpace 360 has been described by BEA as a set of tools allowing for participation of different roles in an SOA lifecycle.

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