BEA is in the news of late for matters like improved quarterly results, beefing up Business Process Integration engine and CPU pricing norms revision.Today it announced the acquisition of Plumtree portal software.
BEA has its own J2EE-based portal platform - the BEA WebLogic Portal, which the company describes as a transactional portal. Plumtree's product suite includes a portal designed for non-technical business users and related products for collaboration, search, analytics, and content management. Plumtree supports both Microsoft .Net-based and J2EE-based application servers. This cross-platform support was appealing to BEA. Alfred Chuang says, "The portal is becoming the central point of integration in the enterprise." There is no overlap as seen by BEA as its reasoning is that WebLogic Portal targets companies using transactional portals in a J2EE application development environment & Plumtree's portal is designed for business users in a collaborative workgroup setting. A lot of people asked me what I think of this – as I work with closely with both the companies, I shall not saying anything in detail – but I think this is good for Plumtree customers and it was always there in the air for a long time that PT is just waiting to get the right price to sell out & good for BEA as it gains more customers at a throwaway price and begins to look a little more strong.
Portals play a critical role in delivering personalized & contextual user experiences. Increasingly portals are becoming an integral structure of SOA frameworks that intelligently aggregate, integrate and orchestrate the presentation/interaction management layer. We wrote earlier that a framework of service-wrapper tools, orchestration tools, process automation &execution engines, and a page generating engine could be composed to produce a generic composite application framework that could be used by business to generate a composite app. The hallmark of composite applications will be the use of standardized & consistent set of infrastructure services provided by the composite application framework based on the SOA framework of dynamic, extensible, federated interoperability and enabled by XML-based technologies. Portals are increasingly being seen as integral to component applications framework – this enables them to blend portlets comprised of applications, information, communication and collaboration services centered on various profile data/metadata standards. In general different portal products may have different frameworks/standards on template mechanisms, communication interfaces and may follow different approaches on the nature of build and orchestration. It may look surprising but interoperable standards across various portal platforms do vary. We may see that enterprises may take a positive view on best of breed portals , all other things being equal including financial standing and quality of support, but may increasingly be more inclined towards examining the full blown application from so called platform vendors like IBM, BEA, SAP, Oracle. The resulting scenario could be that inside every enterprise there may be a couple of major platform players/infrastructure platforms that provide the anchorage for core applications - but it is likely that many enterprises will be looking at a set of preferred vendors providing core SOA support around which best-of-breeds may be spun together. It may become a race between such ecosystems for marketshare and gaining positive points in terms of performance & flexibility. I also foresee a few more acquisitions and coming together and hosted environment centric portal solutions getting prominence.
Category :Portals, Consolidation