Oracle Beefs Up Middleware Line with BEA Products

At the recent Oracle OpenWorld event, Oracle announced a series of new enhancements to its Java middleware stack, which incorporates application server and Java tools from last year's BEA acquisition. Dubbed the Oracle Fusion Middleware Application Grid, the offerings are intended to enable faster development and deployments within the Java framework. At the core of Oracle's offerings is WebLogic application server, acquired from BEA, which integrates some functionality of the now discontinued Oracle Application Server.

"The foundation of our middleware stack is to enable greater efficiency," Mike Pietch, senior director of product marketing, said in a press conference at Oracle OpenWorld.

New releases within the stack include WebLogic Server 11g and WebLogic Suite 11g, JRockit Java Virtual Machine, Oracle Coherence in-memory data grid, and Tuxedo application server for C++ and COBOL environments.

Oracle WebLogic Suite includes a number of new enhancements, including Oracle TopLink Grid, which enables integration with Oracle Coherence. Another feature, Oracle WebLogic SmartUpgrade, provides targeted insight and automation capabilities which enables upgrades of Java Enterprise Edition applications to WebLogic Server.

Oracle also demonstrated Service Component Architecture (SCA) support between WebLogic and Oracle SOA Suite. Oracle WebLogic Server SCA is intended to provide developers with the ability to use plain Java classes for their business logic, assemble them into SOA composites and deploy them to Oracle WebLogic Server.

"Within one year of acquiring BEA, Oracle fulfilled it promise of integrating the product lines, Pietch says. "We've converged our application server and WebLogic into a single container. We have integration into the complete Oracle 11g stack."

Oracle is also positioning WebLogic server as an enabler of cloud computing, particularly private cloud contained within enterprise walls, Pietch says. "Many Oracle Fusion middleware solutions are going down the path of shared services."

In other product news, Oracle announced its JDeveloper Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for enterprise Java and SOA now includes more than 500 planned new features and performance improvements, including added support for: Maven, JavaScript Object Notation Language (JSON), Facelets, UML 2.0 and Eclipse key mappings.

Oracle also announced Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF), an end-to-end meta-framework for the Java EE platform that enables developers to build rich enterprise applications. Highlights of the new release include an enhanced user interface, and a feature called "Carousel" for displaying collections of data using an interface similar to iTunes users.

Additionally, Oracle unveiled Oracle WebCenter Suite, intended to help both developers and business users build, deploy and evolve next-generation composite applications and portals. Planned new features intended to help developers include Enterprise 2.0 services such as tagging, linking, discussions, and presence that can be integrated directly into Oracle ADF applications. Oracle also says the product set will support an updated REST architecture and APIs that enable Enterprise 2.0 services to be integrated with any type of application, website, or language such as Java, .NET, PHP, Perl, and Ruby.

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