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BEA Analyst Summit 2006: Sustaining Our Competitive Technical Advantage – BEA Product Overview and Roadmap

[See intro notes to my first post for what’s going on here.]

Dave Douglas (VP and Cheif Architect WebLogic), Paul Patrick (VP and Chief Architect AquaLogic)

Paul: we’re huge on being driven by customer demands.

Dave: portal, integration, workshop…in 9.2 release. “Spent a ton of energy on the customer upgrade path. At this point we’re just in upgrade testing.”

06Q3, native WS in Tuxedo. “It turns out WS are driving new life into Tuxedo.”

Paul: we have 24 products. Customers are driving us to partition things out into these narrow divisions. We get challenges. OSS: real, a threat & challenge, and a benefit.

At the high end — WLS — it’s still competitive. SOA is growing. “The edge” [not the U2 dude] is driving features too: RFID, mobile.

Our buyers are getting more corner-office, more wing-tips [warning! danger! don’t forget the pumps]. Being more Agile.

Dave: [slide:] SOA, utility computing, virtualization, low latency (“real time”), new data types and sources, converged networks, social computing, open source, consolidation.

New stuff: RFID and telco. Sensor nets [JXTA link for 2-3 years ago JavaWorld].

Paul on AquaLogic

We spend a lot of time talking with analysts, and we spend a lot time talking with you, analysts too.

The technical vision for AquaLogic is being driven by the following observation: “The deeper we go, the parallels between ‘Networks of Services’ and ‘Networks of Computers’ continue to grow.” The network design and architectures seem to apply to SOA.

The city planning analogy: buildings and bridging/roading together the buildings. Service switch, network switch/router.

…Traffic reports for “congestion”…routing for alternate routes.

Whao! Now a big, multi-box, lines and notes graphic. “More and more of a fabric, similar to our interstate transport system.”

Dave Douglas: WebLogic

In 9.2, you see the seeds of what you’d like for virtualization. Events are a hot topic. Sensors are sort of the next thing after RFID.

“If someone wants to run a bunch of apps on a co-located bunch of large server – WE KICK BUTT.” Distributed, balanced, etc. is a big deal in WLS.

Blended: use OSS if it makes sense.

As an architect, I’d like to pick and choose components/modules and use “lightweight product teams” to combine them together for rapid delivery to customers. And then add in BEA special sauce — consistency, quality, etc.

[Very similar to Israel Gat’s idea of being more 1-off friendly via Agile approaches to packaged software.]

Security: couple years ago, we realized we had a good lead in security. So we took our security out as a module, so now we can scale up and down as needed…it’s become a very good asset for us. We look to this modularization for the rest of our software which lets us get to that rapid development idea. Not there yet, but it goes towards that.

Paul: in some instance, because we’ve taken this componentized approach, we were able to put together a new offering.

Q & A

Q: What are things you’re doing in WLS that allow you to “go down stream,” selling to smaller environments.

Dave: working with Tomcat and brining them closer to the family. Making admin console stuff work with groups of Tomcat. [This kind of configuring open source stuff is a great management opportunity for systems management vendors…who currently seem to focus on monitoring OSS systems for the most part.]

Q: are you transitioning Fuego partners over, and how?

A: yes, indeed. As with Plumbtree, we’re moving them over to the BEA partner model.

Q: Systinet acquisition by Mercury?

Paul: that was good, because Mercury is a partner. [after some more prodding] “there’s things that we can do to extends UDDI.” Interoperability is key. The role of UDDI will grow, and we need to see how we get it to a much more federated approach.

Q: making AquaLogic more portable?

Paul: [missed some of this]…a black-box approach, the goal is, you don’t really want to manage what’s underneath, unless you really want to manage it.

Q: Most of what you have is very Java centric., .Net stuff. What’s your plan to exploit .Net and C#? Because the future is C# and not Java.

Everyone has a good laugh.

Paul: “AquaLogic is not a service hosting environment.” A lot of our products are achieving MSFT interop.

Same Q prods more: WLS have any plans to work with C# and CLR?

Dave: people are using python. We don’t get asked a lot for .Net stuff.

Emilio Gabeiras (of Fuego) says that WebLogic/Fuego BPM works with .Net. There’s native interfaces, etc.

Q: At what point does WLS intersect Tux[edo]?

Dave: I don’t have a good answer because it seems like apples and oranges to me. I’ll have to get back later to you.

Disclaimer: BEA is a client, and paid for me to come to this conference. BMC, where Israel Gat works, is also a client, and I used to work there.

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