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BEA seeks to create SOA business mashups with Genesis

In the beginning there was AquaLogic Registry and Repository and around it forms BEA CEO Alfred Chuang's vision of Genesis, which is designed to combine SOA, BPM and Web 2.0.

For those who have suspected service-oriented architecture has become a religious pursuit, BEA Systems Inc. has just offered its version of Genesis for SOA.

What Genesis really is supposed to be … is to cross the lifecycle and to cross all user roles within an organization for building dynamic applications.
Bradley F. Shimmin
Principal Analyst of Application InfrastructureCurrent Analysis LLC.

Among the plethora of announcements relating to SOA at the opening of its BEAWorld user conference in San Francisco Tuesday was the Genesis vision of Alfred Chuang, Chairman and CEO of BEA. Genesis essentially combines SOA development and governance with business process management (BPM), rich Internet application (RIA) assembly and enterprise social computing.

"Genesis is where we ultimately want to take AquaLogic to," Chuang said in a press and analyst briefing at BEA World on Tuesday. "Some of the things you see in Genesis, you will see in Workspace 360, which is a combination of many different technologies that BEA has along with a new paradigm."

The new paradigm might not be entirely clear with new marketing names such as Genesis and Workspace 360 being thrown around with earlier buzz words like Liquid and Blended. But despite the multiplicity of names and concepts, Bradley F. Shimmin, principal analyst of application infrastructure at Current Analysis LLC., who is at the show in San Francisco this week, called what BEA is doing for SOA "spot on."

Major announcements from BEA World that are beginning to form Chuang's vision of the new world of SOA included:

  • AquaLogic Registry Repository 3.0, a registry and repository designed for management and governance of SOA deployments;
  • WebLogic Server Virtual Edition, designed to allow SOA services to be treated as virtual appliances that can be deployed whenever and wherever needed;
  • BEA and Adobe Systems Inc. enterprise partnership with BEA bundling Adobe Flex Builder software with BEA Workshop Studio for developing composite applications that integrate with SOA and Web 2.0 infrastructure for enterprise mash-ups.

Those three announcements fit into two larger concepts BEA is developing around SOA:

  • Genesis, a newly unveiled project for convergence of SOA, BPM and enterprise social computing, the latter of which Chuang, who expressed a fondness for mashups, sees as the future of business computing;
  • Workspace 360, the previously announced project designed to help business analysts, architects, developers and IT operations collaborate in the delivery of service-oriented applications.

Shimmin said the Adobe partnership will help BEA realize its larger SOA, Web 2.0, RIA vision of Workspace 360 and Genesis.

"Adobe is a good partner to work with," he said. BEA and Adobe have plans to do "some serious integration" work so when developers are working in Flex Builder 2, Adobe's Eclipse-based IDE, create metadata it will go straight into the AquaLogic registry/repository."

BEA's goal is to have the Adobe tools and other partner tools tightly integrated with the new AquaLogic registry/repository, Shimmin said. He noted that Skyway Software Inc., also announced a partnership and plans to integrate its model-based, collaborative tools with BEA's registry/repository.

Skyway will use the Metadata Interoperability Framework, which is part of Workspace 360, to plug into the AquaLogic registry/repository. While that framework is not a standard, it does provide a way for partners to more easily store metadata when working in the BEA world, Shimmin said.

"It's not a standard, but it is another interface to the registry/repository," he explained. This is important, the analyst said, because the registry/repository is the foundation for the larger vision of Genesis.

Code-named Genesis, this BEA initiative aims at a convergence of SOA, BPM and Web 2.0 with business users as well as traditional IT coders developing applications, according to BEA.

It fits into Chuang's concept that a new generation of business users, having grown up with Web 2.0, will be seeking to apply the new technologies to the businesses where they work. At his press conference he repeated his belief that the old IT models for application development will have to make way for a new generation of business users looking to create mashups.

BEA promises an expanded roadmap for Genesis by the end of the year.

WorkSpace 360 and AquaLogic Registry and Repository 3.0
AquaLogic Registry Repository 3.0 is the first product in the WorkSpace 360 vision, according to BEA. It is also a first step in the larger Project Genesis. A classification of BEA terminology would put Project Genesis on top and WorkSpace 360 under it along with the AquaLogic Registry Repository. The Metadata Interoperability Framework would provide at least some of the glue that holds the vision together.

WebLogic Server Virtual Edition
BEA is touting metrics for Java virtualization, which Shimmin found impressive.

The company points to lab test results conducted by BEA and Intel Corp, that showed BEA's LiquidVM, the technology behind WebLogic Server Virtual Edition, runs Java more than twice as efficiently as "the normal OS-based software stack on VMware Infrastructure."

From an service-oriented perspective, this is important, BEA said because it allows SOA services to be treated by IT as virtual appliances that can be deployed whenever and wherever needed.

BEA & Adobe form Enterprise Partnership
The combination of Adobe Flex Builder and BEA Workshop Studio, which is to result from this partnership, is designed to help developers move into the Ajax, RIA, Web 2.0 mashup world that Chuang argued Tuesday is the next generation of IT.

For more information
BEA's latest portal seeks to blend Web 2.0 with SOA

BEA goes for a SOA triple play

The Workshop Studio bundle that is supposed to emerge from this partnership includes Flex Builder 2, Adobe's Eclipse-based IDE and the Adobe Flex SDK, which is planned to be released under the open source Mozilla Public License, the BEA announcement said.

In the beginning is the …
While Chuang was championing mashups on Tuesday, Shimmin said the overall vision beyond all BEA's marketing buzzwords is much more enterprise application focused than that.

"That's just how Alfred Chuang is couching it," Shimmin said. "A mashup is just one aspect. It's going to be a unified structure for UI development work and for backend server-side production. It's not hinging on mashups by any stretch of the imagination. What Genesis really is supposed to be – thank God it's got the same grandeur as the name – is to cross the lifecycle and to cross all user roles within an organization for building dynamic applications. They want to be able to have the end user be empowered to create applications, which right now is typified by mashups. But down the road that might be something more involved. It might be utilizing full-blown Web services."

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