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BEA courts open source frameworks

With customers demanding flexibility in development tools, BEA is adding support for lightweight, open source Java frameworks.

SAN FRANCISCO - Much of the discussion at this week's JavaOne conference has centered on eliminating code.

We're just buried in writing and code, trying to tie all this stuff together.
Charles Beckham
Chief Architect for Java Developer ToolsSun Microsystems

There has been emphasis on creating graphical user interfaces at the programmer level in order to facilitate the creation of Web services that plug back into a service-oriented architecture.

BEA Systems Inc. Chief Technology Officer Mark Carges on Monday delivered an afternoon keynote speech where he stressed the importance of moving dependencies and data sources to another layer of abstraction through the use of annotations "so you don't have that big, old hairball of code."

Though BEA has made its money in the application server business, Carges envisions a world where each application will be application server independent. He also put out a call for a return to actual programming simplicity rather than branded simplicity that often proves to be complex.

"That you have to call it Plain Old Java Objects means that you're probably not using it that way," he said, referring to the simplified Java programming model.

That theme was picked up in multiple technical sessions at the show on Web services and SOA, where attendee interest was so keen that the overflow rooms overflowed.

Charles Beckham, chief architect for Java developer tools at Sun Microsystems, talked about how tools that skirt around complexity are the coming wave in development.

"It takes a combination of technologies to build in a SOA environment," he said. "No one person can know it all."

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He also urged attendees to be suspicious of any vendor claiming to have SOA in a box. "There is no one tool," he said.

Like Carges, Beckham targeted coding as the main barrier to entry for the SOA market.

"We're just buried in writing and code, trying to tie all this stuff together," he said.

To that end, BEA announced that its next J2EE development platform will support "all major open source frameworks," including Apache Beehive and the Spring Framework. He even demonstrated how an application could be migrated from Apache Tomcat to BEA's WebLogic Server.

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