BEA Systems Inc is rolling out a series of minor enhancements to its pair of portal products, and for the first time is making the Java-based WebLogic Portal interoperable with .NET. And it’s also the first new release of the AquaLogic Interaction product that is fully BEA-branded.
Unlike most portal vendors, BEA has two separate products lines: WebLogic Portal, its original Java-based product, and BEA AquaLogic User interaction, the more Microsoft-friendly product that came through the Plumtree acquisition a year ago.
The announcements today include a series of minor enhancements to the AquaLogic offering, and the new interoperability for the WebLogic piece.
The .NET piece is called an application accelerator that coverts ASP.NET 2.0 code as WSRP. That’s short for Web Services for Remote Portlets, an Oasis standard that was approved back in 2003, which has been endorsed by just about everyone except Microsoft. By converting the .NET piece to WSRP, the code can be consumed by both BEA portals.
The advantage to customers is that, if they have different groups that are Microsoft or Java-focused, they can now each develop portlets for either BEA portal. The practical effect is primarily on WebLogic customers, since the AquaLogic portal was already .NET-compliant. For BEA, this is probably more a checklist item to show that its products are more fully interoperable.
Another highlight is the new integration with AquaLogic Business Process Management (BPM), the former Fuego offering that was also acquired by BEA last fall. BEA’s AquaLogic Interaction Collaboration, which is the groupware add-on to the AquaLogic portal product, now adds support for collaborative document access inside the BPM piece. In effect, this adds a new link between the Fuego and Plumtree products acquired last fall.
Odds and ends winding up in the new releases include new web-based administration tools for the AquaLogic portal, replacing command line interfaces, and the ability to perform routine tasks like backup, archive, and restore from the new web-based admin GUI.
On the AquaLogic side, this is the first new product release of the portal under BEA’s watch. That means that the Plumtree brand is history. As a practical matter, it means that management of licenses, and especially the download of evaluation versions, now falls under BEA’s license management infrastructure. It replaces the honor system that was customary with Plumtree.