Tuesday, September 11, 2007

BEA, Adobe flex their muscles in pushing toward RIAs on the enterprise desktop

BEA Systems Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc. are teaming up to give enterprise customers a design environment for rich Internet application (RIA) development. The two companies announced Tuesday that BEA will bundle Adobe's Flex Builder 2 software with BEA Workshop Studio. This move will let developers build cross-platform RIAs that integrate with services oriented architecture (SOA) and Web 2.0 infrastructures for enterprise mashups.

Under Tuesday's agreement, announced at BEAWorld in San Francisco, the BEA-Adobe bundle will include Flex Builder 2, as well as the Adobe Flex SDK, which operates under the Mozilla Public License.

In April, I predicted that Flex -- especially operating under open source -- could become an industry standard for RIAs, and this latest announcement might be an indication that prediction is coming true. What I said back then was:

"With Adobe bringing its Flex and possibly Flash into open source — and perhaps creating unassailable de facto global standards as well — then the Web 2.0 red shift to RIAs and away from other models could be complete."

Using the Adobe Flash Player, which is nearly ubiquitous in home user applications, developers will be able to build interactive data dashboards, customer and employee self-service applications, and B2B applications that will be agnostic as far as platforms or operating systems.

The applications created with Flex can then be integrated with other BEA products -- including those from the WebLogic and AquaLogic families -- and to deploy the applications with Adobe's Intergated Runtime, a cross-operating system app runtime that allows developers to extend RIAs to the desktop.

As part of the agreement, Adobe will distribute an evaluation license of BEA's WebLogic Server with Adobe's LiveCycle Enterprise Suite (ES) software, giving customers a turnkey infrastructure to deploy LiveCycle applications using WebLogic characteristics.

In other news from BEAWorld, BEA released the AquaLogic Registry Repository 3.90, the first product component of WorkSpace 360º, which in turn is a building block of BEA's newly announced dynamic business application platform initiative -- code-named Genesis.

Genesis is expected to converge SOA, business process management (BPM), social computing, and other technologies to better manage the service creation lifecycle across the enterprise. Tony Baer has some good thoughts on Genesis and BEA's actions this week.

The goal of Genesis is to allow businesses to adapt to changing market conditions without the constraint of old IT models, allowing the enterprise to assemble, change, and deploy dynamic business applications. Look for BEA to unveil the roadmap for Genesis at BEAWorld in Shanghai in December.

Registry Repository 3.0, which was announced Tuesday is designed to improve the management and governance of SOA deployments, combining the governance capabilities of BEA's AquaLogic Enterprise Repository and Service Registry, providing governance throughout the SOA lifecycle.

Among the features of the new repository are:

  • A central repository for sharing and managing metadata to enable a more seamless flow of information across the stages of the lifecycle.
  • Embedded workflow to provide a structured process for managing assets as they are developed.
  • Unified tooling to create a seamless navigation.
  • Open metadata interoperability framework for integration by third-party technologies.
  • Embedded governance and control throughout the lifecycle to help ensure that dynamic business applications are defined, designed, built and run in alignment with business goals and objectives.