No. of Recommendations: 3

Re: BEA (1)
Warning long post(s)

Wow...finally got some BEAS action going here. Phil and I have tried to start it before.

Disclosure...Long on BEAS and have wanted more discussion on it as a Gorilla for long time.

In addition to the thread that you have posted there is this other one on this board:

In addition Phil has had some action going on the GG list and perhaps he will be around to share that. Erick (xerohype) just let me know this was going on and I have contacted Phil but he is on vacation.

I have followed BEAS since March when after taking the RB seminar I invested in it as a potential Rule Breaker. I thought after reading GG that it seemed like a Gorilla. I had some offline correspondence with Bruce Brown and he was convinced as has been the theme of the posts here this time that it can't be because it is middleware. I tried to in the previous posts show where Moore et al I don't think exclude middleware as people seem to think it is...BUT the argument for BEAS as a gorilla should no longer be fought on that turf.

To prevent this from being the longest post in Fool history in the remainder of this post I will be referring to recent activity on the BEAS board that I think is pertinent and important. In a second post I will refer to material re BEAS and B2B from the Fool Seminar Alumni Board.

Just recently a fellow named Techydudey began posting on the BEAS board. Some of the stuff this slight mysterious Fool posts is just so good it has to be quoted as it discusses technical software issues better than anywhere else I have been able to find:

Is BEAS just middleware...the answer is NO:
The argument:
On the BEAS board I asked:
techydudeguy (and other techies out there)
Still trying to understand BEAS place in the world. If I understood your last post it is a major ASP player. The why is it not even mentioned in these two Fool about SEBL vs ORCL and the other specifically about ASPs?
SEcondly can you or the other techies respond to this? Is middleware still an important part of BEAS's future...Tuxedo has been strongly supported on the board by techies....can someone analyse the following at a technical level where I can't go?
Date: 22-Sep-00 08:09:11
> From: "Gorilla Game discussion list" >
> Subj: RE: [gglist] BEAS a Gorilla???
<nb: the full text of this GG list item is in my post url above)

Techydudey responds:

Most people do not understand or aware of all of BEAs
tech and how it is or can be applied (even tech people, this is why some people can charge over $300 and hour). One of key facts that people do not realize is that EVERYONE has to do extensive customization when using an e-business software. People fail to realize the huge technology gains that Java and Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) represent.

I know most people will not equate SAP with todays e-business problems but it does apply. SAP is a huge monster. It did something people needed: ERP. Today, it is easy to take something like WLS, a J2EE compliant application server, and code the specific funcationality needed for ERP than to pay millions for SAP and use up years in consulting (and more millions) to figure out how to use the damn thing.

As people are realizing this, the company grows incredably fast (as you have noticed) because people know that WLS can easily be used for any enterprise application. But most people don't and this is why BEA is never mentioned in the kind of ariticles you have listed. This is also why people don't understand why BEA's reveue growth is so strong. It's because more and more peolpe realized that they can use WLS for anything in the enterprise, so a large enterprise just bites the bullet and buys a huge site wide license. This is happenning all the time.

As for the post...

It would be interesting to know when this was posted. The facts are correct, but in my opinion, some key facts are missing. The author also has a strange perspective in that he mainly talks about IBM and Micrsoft platforms when the main drive right now is coming from Oracle and Sun (and now BEA, but BEA is still not quite in that league).

0) In some ways, WebLogic server is almost proprietary since it is always the application server that supports the latest standards. Using the app server, you are following the standards, but everyone else lags 6-12 months behind, and their support of the standard varies, do you can't just switch the application server out to something like say.. WebSphere with out planning and effort.

But in general, I don't think the statement about proprietary is true for software. The enterprise high tech market is sick of non standard software products. Java is a indication that the enterprise does not want proprietary. Another indication is the RDBMS. Probably the largest revolutionizing software tech before Java. From most peolpes point of view, RDBMS is not really proprietary, meaning that most people don't buy Oracle for Oracle proprietary tech. (though enough peolpe also do that) but rather for the database. We've easily switched databases from IBM's DB2 to Oracle. Usually the ORacle database is the foot in the door to sell more proprietary tech from Oracle, just like WLS will be BEA's foot in the door for it's other tech.

1) He only talks about Tuxedo and not WebLogic Server (WLS) or even WLE. Tuxedo is NOT BEA's main product. Not even close. This might have been the case 1.5 years ago, but that is no longer true. This invalidates almost the whole post and raises suspicion about how much he knows about BEA. About a year ago, it was amazing how many tech people did not know that WebLogic Server was acquired by BEA, or I would run into people and mention BEA, they'd say "who?" and I'd say they owned WebLogic. Then the light of recoginition would turn on in their head. Also, Tuxedo has morphed into an ORB with the advent of WebLogic Enterprise. WebLogic Enterprise seems to be giving other ORB vendors a run for their money. But ORB is not were the "real" game is (an indication of this is that IONA, the "traditional" ORB vendor "is going" / "has gone" J2EE compliant in a huges way).

2) CICS was not difficult to sell. In fact, most people don't know this, but as far as I still know (last I really knew as 1997), CICS is the still the most successful software application ever. Because of the mainframe software business model (pretty much a rent for life model :), IBM still generates huges revenues from CICS. One reason why IBM revenue will not go away unless there is a huge cataclysm. In alot of ways, WLS is fast becoming the CICS of the 21st century. CICS is difficul to sell now-a-days because of inovations like WLS (and Oracle, etc).

3) There is clear evidence that WLS is becoming part of a larger value chain. As mentioned before, many webMethods istallations run on WLS, this also goes for ecommerce products that no longer want to be tied to a proprietary technology. I've heard of other application server companies (sorry can't say which ones) who built other tech on their own J2EE application server but would rather now license WLS from BEA and throw away their own J2EE application server.This is why BEA has such a huge opportunity to move up the value chain which they are trying very hard to do with BEA Commerce Server, Collaborate, and Process Integrator.
That all the time I have today.. off to catch a plane.

Who are BEAS's competitors
Again a question I asked on the BEAS board and the response:

1) Who are BEAS's competitors and in what "area"?

Since BEA's technical war chest is growing rapidly, this is quickly becoming the same kind of answer as when you ask "who are Microsoft's or IBM's competitors"... everyone.

I'll get more specific while I ignore BEA's older products based on Tuxedo (cornered much of the Telco market, is growing modestly, and also has an application server --- when people say BEA has 70% of the market they are usually combining both WebLogic Server and WebLogic Enterprise which is based on Tuxedo, also an excellent product).

BEA's weblogic server mainly competes with IBM Websphere, and EJB compliant application servers from Silver Stream, IONA, ObjectSpace, Inprise, etc.

BEA's Commerce Server (recently was awarded best commerce server by a some important Java industry magazines mostly because it is completely Java and runs on EJB, i.e. it runs on WLS) competes with IBM Websphere's e-components (both are built on their respective application servers), SilverStream's x-commerce server. Much of IBM's commerce components are really the old Net.Commerce from IBM, originally written in C++, that was first shipped in 1997 and beta used at the Atlanta Olympic games. This is why much of it is "not" EJB compliant. Another part of this product set comes from the old footprint company in Toronto which was aquired by IBM around 1996. IBM has had a heck of a time selling these components because they only work with WebSphere and part of it is not written in Java, nor is EJB compliant, etc. All of these problems do not exist with BEA's commerce server since it is a new product built from the ground up on WebLogic Server (a good example why a smaller software company is more nimble than a large one).

BEA's Collaborate is in beta now. BEA is conducting public seminars in the valley to explain the product to CEO's and investors. This product directly competes with webMethods, the "accepted" B2B company.

BEA's Process Integrator is a workflow product (this was officially released about one month ago). Workflow is fast becoming one of the key requirements for B2B. You'll see that companies usually qualified as B2B, like EXLN and WEBM, all are trying to incorporate workflow.

BEA owns a large chunk of WebGain which does Java platform development tools (competes with Inprise, IBM, etc)

Taking all of the above, BEA competes with anyone doing Java development for the enterprise. The only thing they don't own are what qualifies as Content Management Systems (Interwoven) and Databases (ORacle, DB2). They flat out own the application server space and are using this as a way to take over in all the above mentioned areas. This is working because customers want all this new software to run on WebLogic Server (alot of webMethods software installations run on WLS).

BEA still seems to get most of it's revenue from the application server. All of the rest of the products I mentioned are LESS THAN A YEAR OLD. BEA's revenue growth is not based at all on these new products, nor do I think that analysts are aware of these products or their impact. They are mainly basing their prediction on the fact that BEA is an application server company. They seem clueless that BEA is very quickly evolving into to much more. Much of BEA's expenditures have been in developing, aquiring, marketing these technologies.

2) is BEAS in the B2B space?

The average anaylst seems to say "no" or "I don't know". BEA is in B2B, the success of WebLogic Server overshadows this fact. There are 2 facets to B2B.

1) Can your ecommerce application partition your "system" (this usually means partitioning by businesses) to handle the day to day operations of B2B. The day to day operations of B2B, from an "abstract point of view" when using proper design, not very different from B2C.

Even though that technically their commerce product is not a B2B product it is so easy to convert it for B2B since it has an excellent code design (This was from the Theory Center aquisition... The theory center, prior to the aquistion, engaged some of the industries best thinkers in the area). Most people are using weblogic server for B2B because it works and many are buying the commerce server product.

2) Can you automatically and electronically (not manually, you would be surprised how many people say they can, but in fact behind the scenes it is manual... it's like a magic show... got nothing up the sleeve...) accept infromation from a supplier so that the exchange can display the suppliers information and act as a middle man in the commerce transaction. This is were webMethods fall in. BEA has this software in beta. It is called Collaborate and some major players are using it.

some other important recent BEAS board posts relating to BEAS as an ASP, BEAS and B2B, BEAS and EAI, BEAS and IBM
These are all by techydudeguy:
This is by emiddleware:

That is all from recent BEAS discussion. As noted the next post will be B2B discussion from the Seminar Fool Alumni Board.

Benjamin aka omahafool


Print the post  


When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.