No. of Recommendations: 4
Re: BEA (2)
: Re: BEA Date: 10/8/00 11:22 PM
Post New • Post Reply • Reply Later • Create Poll Problem Post • Recommend it!
Recommendations: 6

Previously referred to second post...mentioned in my last post on this thread

Recently BEAS became the focus of attention in a discussion on B2B on the Fool Seminar Alumni Board. I posted the following post which is what I would have posted here instead of the previous BEAS board post...but much of this stuff explains a lot about middleware although there is a lot of other B2B discussion as well. I think it is all relevant and important but wanted to lead with the previous BEAS board stuff that as far as I can see takes BEAS out of "just" middleware and places it into ASP.EAI, B2B......

Here is my Fool Seminar Alumni Board Post url and content:

Here is a lot of info on BEAS and B2B

BEAS may be the Rodney Dangerfield of B2B or maybe just to complicated to understand re its relationship to B2B.
For eg...there is this question which the first board link is responding to:

Hi phyzer;
You asked--
I just had a question regarding TMFBuster's article entitled, "Which B2Bs Are Rule Breakers?" on the main page of While I understand why Ariba, I2 Tech, CommerceOne, and Oracle are Rule-Breakers in the overall B2B market, I was wondering why BEAS was not mentioned. Are they considered the backbone of companies such as these, or merely "just" middleware?

or there is this brand new Business Week article that the BEAS site directs you to which does mention BEAS as #1 in stockholder returns but then never mentions them in the rest of the article discussing B2B!
The Second Coming of Software

Anyway...this first post is one of the best:

Two years ago, I think it would have been okay to lump BEAS in the B2B category. I think it would have been hard to sort through the folks putting together the systems to create the marketplaces e.g. Ariba, CommerceOne, versus the ones who were supplying the pieces/components BEAS, Oracle, and I2. Part of the difficulty is the last three were creating big chunks of the overall systems by deploying as well as supplying the technology. I think the market has begun to more clearly define this subtlety so today it is possible to separate the two. Of the five companies, I think BEAS now is perhaps the one that can best distinguish itself as providing the component pieces. I think this is a good thing. It allows companies to come to BEAS for the technology and not view them as a competitor (I think CommerceOne is an example here)

Middleware?...ah, middleware. This word is too overloaded. A few years ago, middleware was the software that sat between clients (browsers typically) and backend systems (databases, mainframes). It still is that, but that piece has grown bigger and ...bigger and...bigger. I think technology like JDBC components, caching, load-balancing, data analysis tools for data mining, etc. have become middleware. Is BEAS a middleware company? It was before, and with this expanding definition, I believe it will continue to be. Again, not a problem, if you can continue to read thru that and see the BEAS pieces are some of the key and critical infrastructure pieces.

Here is a great but somewhat complicated post

N-Tier System and Middleware Definitions
Unlike a traditional 2-tier environment, that is client server, you have at least one additional tier to perform some additional logic. The traditional design was a desktop application talking to some database.

However, as systems have grown to include additional business logic (taxes, expense reporting, task management, etc) it has become increasingly difficult to release software onto every user's "desktop". This has become increasingly difficult as user's may be in the field, on the web, etc.

So, it has become a tenant of computer science that 1) a new approach was needed, and 2) that n-tier design is the way to achieve that. So, what's a n-tier system?

The easiest way to view a n-tier system, is to set n to 3. So, you have presentation, business and data layers. The presentation would go to the client, and should require minimal changes over time. The other two layers remain a black box as far as the user is concerned. By placing the business logic in the server, there is a minimal need to update the user's "desktop," and allows for more scalable solutions.

How does this provide more scalable solutions? Well, there is some limit to the number of simultaneous users that a database can support. Let's say that limit is 5000 users. Well, if you have 10,000 users how can you support them using one database? You can add a middle tier, between the user and the database(s), like Tuxedo.

So, middleware (there was a point coming all along!) is anything which sits between the user and another server to fulfill some business requirement.

One other point, every tier in a n-tier system can be viewed as a client to a higher tier. For example, browser->web server->application server->transaction processor->database.

This post tries to place BEAS in the marketplace
BEA sells middleware and related professional services. Middleware is the software that sits between a business application (like PeopleSoft) and the underlying operating system & networking of a computer. Specifically it's all the complicated system software that programmers previously mixed in with their business software. It was necessary for doing things like sending messages to other programs, performing security functions, providing failover & other management capabilities. Essentially it's all of the environmental stuff running within and between, the business-related portion of the programs. It tends to be extremely complex to write and very difficult to debug and manage. It's one of the main reasons why software engineering has been so expensive.

So in a rather convoluted nutshell: Since BEA makes the middleware, it's much easier to build and run these business systems. Which means software can come to market more quickly. Which in this day in age means that businesses can be deployed more efficiently - especially when it comes to eCommerce, since we provide all of the infrastructure they would otherwise have to implement themselves. So it's extremely cost-effective.

An example of how BEA affects our lives. Go to an ATM and transfer some money from one account to the next. Our software is behind the scenes ensuring reliability, security, etc. Another example: airline reservation systems. You'll find BEA at E*Trade, DirecTV, Amazon, Schwab, Boeing, PeopleSoft, and many other accounts.

This is an early post circa 1999 from the BEAS board

I'd like to expand on my colleague's very informative description of what we (BEA) do.

We sell middleware (that's the TUXEDO and WebLogic stuff) - see post #199 for a great description.

AND, we sell software for "e-commerce integration" - which includes Enterprise Application Integration, web to back-end system integration, company-to-company integration, etc. The product that has been selling
for a while is called e-Link. So if you have sales automation from Siebel(sp?), and Oracle on the back end, and Clarify in your call center, you'd like to share data and have your business processes span
all these systems, plus the ones you've developed internally. That's what integration is for.

AND (the piece I know most about), we sell application components. That is, pieces of software that can be assembled and customized to create applications. For the techies out there, these are standard, EJB components. We have 80 of them from the Theory Center acquisition, and
they cover 7 common ecommerce functions (order taking, customer management, shipping, etc.) (see for details.)The advantage of components is that they don't force a trade-off between time to market and the ability to build a very unique solution that provides competitive advantage. If you buy off-the-shelf, it is difficult to customize and really do something
different than everyone else who bought the same package. If you build from scratch, you have to rebuild all the common funcationality that any ecommerce app needs (eg. all net stores have shopping carts, order information, customer information, etc.) so it takes a looong time. And the internet does not tolerate long lead times very well. With components, you buy all the standard stuff, customize it if you want, hook it together, and the only thing you create (if you want) is functionality that is truly unique to your business. We've seen deployment times with components drop from 1/2 to 1/4 of custom building times.

So why isn't everyone selling and using components? The open standards (J2EE, for example) are very new and components only make sense if they are all based on the same standard. And there has not been a single
source (until now) to get a complete set - you had to look through dozens of vendors to find the right pieces, getting one here and another one there. Which means support for them has been next to non-existent.

AND of course we have professional services, in case you want to concentrate on your customers or your inventories or your brand, and not your software.

So BEA has the platform (servers), and the application building blocks (components), and the software to connect it all to the customer's existing systems (integration). Sounds good to me!

ditto for this one

ABC's of BEA, part 1
BEA owns Tuxedo, a "middleware" transaction server. Mission critical to many big and medium shops to direct and track each and every transaction. Not a trivial thing to build and sell, nor a trivial system to configure and support. Acts as a traffic cop between mainframes where the big data repositories sit and all those servers, PCs scattered around collecting data and transactions interface to. This has the ability to interface with many systems and applications i.e. there is a connector per each other vendor application or system that interfaces with systems from PeopleSoft (basically human resource software).

They also build and sell Web logic, an app server. A platform for building web apps. Uses Java EE from SUN.

They have I think a 50% stake in a Java tools company they just bought into along with Warburg. Kept as separate company for political reasons....

They bought a Java objects company to shore up the product suite offering. Basically, lots of neat plug in pieces of code.

Net net: this company is building itself to become a one-stop shop for all the software "stuff" for building e-commerce systems. Because middleware and Tuxedo are actually legacy systems that can't just be ripped out, many of the wait-and-see big companies will seriously consider BEA because they may already have Tuxedo in place, and/or BEA is a big enough player to seriously consider for its platform and tools. BTW, when you go to Amazon or E-Trade, BEA is handling much of the mission critical work underneath. So, if I'm Wal-mart looking to go on-line, I would look seriously at least at BEA and IBM.

The strength of this company is now that they have "name-brand" recognition in their management team - founders are former SUNW management; they have 1200 plus employees to be able to support customers; are growing rapidly in head count, acquisitions and revenue; have cash on hand to continue to make acquisitions; are approaching 1/2 billion in revenues so 1-2 billion not far away (right?); they are in the right space at the right time - B2B; they have a track record; stock have plenty of running room to grow due to its slow start and only recent climb, first split etc; just starting to get noticed by Wall street.

Questions I think need to be answered here would be how do they compare with main competitors IBM, possibly Microsoft in the app server space; and who will win and control the Java EE battle, which is starting to get some press as more companies begin licensing this from SUN.

here from the RM boards is an earlier RM analysis of BEAS

RM Analysis done 12/99

Anyone want to guess who told me this:
The problem with "middleware" and "enabling software" is that it's like a box spring - no one ever sees it, no one pays any attention to it, and if it does a great job no one appreciates it! But it's always there and a good one can make a significant difference.

It's not sexy. It's not snazzy. You can't see what it does, nor can most folks even understand what it does. It's glue. It's the telephone switching center. You only care if it doesn't work.
From the general market perspective, there's nothing interesting to say about it. If a site is built with WebLogic, can you tell the difference? Nothing you see is actually BEA's product - it may have been generated by or handled by their products, but you don't know that you're interacting with them.
So what is there to say about them? And that's the problem. They're huge, but they're not sexy.

More Middleware and Tech Posts
webopedia ( ), it says: "Middleware is a general term for any programming that serves to "glue together," mediate between, or enhance two separate and usually already existing programs. A common application of middleware is to allow programs written for access to a particular database to access other databases."

Software that connects two otherwise separate applications. For example, there are a number of middleware products that link a database system to a Web server. This allows users to request data from the database using forms displayed on a Web browser, and it enables the Web server to return dynamic Web pages based on the user's requests and profile.

The term middleware is used to describe separate products that serve as the glue between two applications. It is, therefore, distinct from import and export features that may be built into one of the applications. Middleware is sometimes called plumbing because it connects two sides of an application and passes data between them. Common middleware categories include:

TP monitors
DCE environments
RPC systems
Object Request Brokers (ORBs)
Database access systems
Message Passing

and in this TMF RB Article BEAS is listed as a Top Dog in B2B
B2B: A Rule Breaking Industry?

Here are some articles etc:

Push into E-Commerce Seen Driving BEA 23 Nov 99

The Second Coming of Software

Tech Advisory: Middleware Vendor Winning with E-Commerce (BEAS) Carlton Lutts

Building E-Businesses at Internet Speed:
BEA to Host Fifth Annual UsersConference in San Francisco, February 2000

eXcelon Corporation and BEA Team to Provide Dynamic Data Caching forEnterprise JavaBeans --EJB-- Applications 3/00



Here is the link to my HTML page on BEAS...very disorganized is where I am gathering info for the FAQ.

Benjamin aka omahafool

TMF RB Article BEAS is listed as a Top Dog in B2B

An incredible response during the RB Seminar from the CEO of BEAS to his sister:

BEA bulks up on
(BEAS)ZDNet-Inter@ctive Investor- Company Profile
YHOO Profile
My RB Seminar Posts per Lesson on BEAS
LESSON 3 RB's BEAS AND SEBL (Final Version)
LESSON 4 RB's BEAS and SEBL (Final Version)
LESSON 5 RB's BEAS and SEBL (Final Version)
LESSON 7 RB's BEAS and SEBL (Final Version)
LESSON 8 RB's BEAS and SEBL (Final Version)

Other RB Seminar BEAS posts
BEAS and B2B

Misc Articles and Links
Push into E-Commerce Seen Driving BEA 23 Nov 99
The Second Coming of Software
Tech Advisory: Middleware Vendor Winning with E-Commerce (BEAS) Carlton Lutts
Building E-Businesses at Internet Speed:
BEA to Host Fifth Annual UsersConference in San Francisco, February 2000
eXcelon Corporation and BEA Team to Provide Dynamic Data Caching forEnterprise JavaBeans --EJB-- Applications 3/00

BEAS Board
BEAS responds!!! (5)
N-Tier System and Middleware Definitions
This post tries to place BEAS in the marketplace
This is an early post circa 1999 from the BEAS board
ABC's of BEA, part 1
Re: VISA Doesn't Choose BEAS
BEAS resonds again...about Visa plus!!
"BEA core compentency"...from screamin
"BEAS is the ORCL of middleware" from xwitdo
....and a reply from cdasilva
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.