BEA is soon to release a suite of software, its chief technology officer Scott Dietzen claims will kill proprietary Web integration software vendors.
Named WebLogic Integration, the product combines an application server with a set of standards-based application integration tools. Developed with Java Enterprise Edition (J2EE) Connector Architecture, WebLogic Integration's tool-kit enables developers and systems integrators to streamline the linking of enterprise applications.
Visiting Sydney to evangelise about the upcoming release of the product, Dietzen said BEA has been working with a large group of leading Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to create a core set of standard adapters to accompany the server and the tool-kit. According to Dietzen, ISV partners such as PeopleSoft and Siebel have pledged they will tip deals away from proprietary adapter product vendors such as Tibco, Vitria and IBM's MQ Series. He said bringing down the hurdles to integrating applications is in the ISV's interest.
Dietzen said BEA also has the support of major systems integrators, with worldwide agreements involving Accenture, EDS and CSC. Mike Stone, partners manager for BEA Systems Australia said local systems integrators supporting the new product also include PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Technology One, Foundation Technology Services and Mincom IT contracting services.
When asked about growing competition from IBM, Microsoft and Oracle in the application server market - Dietzen told a Sydney press gathering BEA will attempt to maintain its lead by remaining independent. "We are the only application server vendor without a vested interest in hardware, operating systems or databases."
He expects Microsoft's new range of .NET servers to mount a serious challenge to BEA and IBM, but does not see any other competitors making any impression. "For ISV's, their expenses go up every time they have to test their applications on a new platform, so they can only test it on the market leaders. They may be able to handle three but I doubt they can handle ten."
Dietzen did not expect the release of Oracle's new application server to have much impact either. "To be successful as an application server vendor, you need value-added products on top of your platform," he said. "If you asked PeopleSoft or Siebel whether they would run their products on Oracle's platform, they would say 'over my dead body'," he said. "Oracle will do well for Oracle applications, but they will have trouble getting other vendors to support their application server." He highlighted that BEA has over 2,000 ISV partners including most of the major enterprise software vendors.