BEA is promising to ship this summer what it says is the first Object Transaction Management system: new middleware designed to let component-based applications scale to tens of thousands of users. The product, code-named Iceberg, is currently in early customer release.
At the BEA User Conference in San Jose, California, VNU Newswire talked with BEA's chairman, CEO and co-founder, Bill Coleman. Coleman said it would be 10 years before object oriented development becomes the primary way to develop mission-critical applications. But in the meantime, he said, many companies are thinking about building such applications, and no middleware yet exists that will allow them to scale sufficiently.
The Object Request Broker technology, as proposed by the Object Management Group, is "a specification, for an interface, not an implementation", said Coleman. He claims the object brokers that are currently on the market can not offer sufficient scalability for mission-critical systems.
"No Object Request Broker will support more than 10 transactions per second", he maintained. He said he is working with the Transaction Processing Council to develop a version of the TPC-C benchmark for CORBA-based (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) systems. By the time Iceberg ships, this summer, it will offer "comparable" transactional performance to BEA's current Tuxedo product, Coleman claims.
Iceberg is the result of the merging of two products: the Tuxedo transaction management middleware and the ObjectBroker CORBA Object Request Broker. ObjectBroker was developed by Digital. In early 1997, BEA acquired it, together with another Digital middleware product, MessageQ.
BEA separated the underlying technology of Tuxedo from the higher layers, and implemented ObjectBroker on top of this foundation. Iceberg and Tuxedo will now both run on the same base services. This will allow companies to implement both products in a mixed environment, Coleman claims, allowing them to migrate gradually from procedural applications to a component-based model.
According to Coleman, Iceberg will not have any true competitors when it first ships. "Over time, obviously IBM and Microsoft will implement truly scalable situations. But I think we will have a sustainable leadership position by then."
BEA was founded in early 1995. At the end of that year, it acquired Tuxedo from Novell, which itself had obtained the product when it purchased Unix System Labs from AT&T. The company went public in april of 1997. In its most recent reported quarter, it had revenues of $41 million, compared with $16 million a year earlier.
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