Software vendor BEA has unveiled new products, services and development projects to bring its vision of 'Liquid Computing' to life.
A new extension of BEA's WebLogic Server - Process Edition - will ship this summer to provide a common administration, security, user interface and coding framework for developing and managing application infrastructures.
Speaking at the BEA eWorld 2004 conference Alfred Chuang, BEA chairman and chief executive, said: "Liquid Computing is designed to close the IT gap and redefine the economics and responsiveness of IT from months to minutes."
The BEA vision centres on the increasingly popular notion of service-oriented architecture (SOA), in which each IT function is seen as 'serving' another as part of the predefined processes that run a business.
Designed to create SOA-based IT infrastructures, Process Edition couples business process management workflow-style technology with BEA's Java-based application development and administration capabilities to build or reuse integrated service-oriented applications.
Scott Dietzen, BEA chief technology officer, explained: "XML and [web services standards] are the foundation of SOA. BEA is standardising integration and bringing SOA to the Java masses across portal integration and our application server product set."
Chuang said Process Edition would provide a solution to the two problems facing enterprise-scale IT today: integration and product versioning.
"The ultimate goal is to make change simple, fast and inexpensive," he added.
Ovum senior analyst for software development and strategies, Bola Rotibi, said the Liquid Computing vision, formerly known as Project Sierra, developed from BEA's previous ideas on liquid data for web services.
"Liquid Computing is BEA's chance to show it has vision, like IBM and Microsoft," she said.
The company also unveiled a new lifecycle support policy for users of WebLogic Platform 8.1, which aims to protect an organisation's investment in BEA by providing guaranteed support for five years, along with the option of two years' extended support.
Other projects unveiled by BEA included Project Quicksilver, which it said would dynamically compose different applications as web services without changing a line of code.
The company is also working on Project Alchemy, which centres on the availability of applications by mobile devices. "It's time to take mobile technology to the enterprise, so you can run enterprise applications on mobile devices," said Chuang.
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