BEA: 'Upgrades are now on the fly'

Company says it will release the world's first hot-swappable application server.

BEA Systems plans to release a new version of its flagship application server that will allow upgrades on the fly to mission-critical applications, the company said Tuesday.

"Upgrades are now on the fly," CEO Alfred Chuang told approximately 2,000 delegates at the company's users' conference in Santa Clara, Calif. "This is the world's first hot-swappable application server in production. Imagine changing the engine of a race car during the race...this is what we are doing.

"I remember the days in the early '90s of the first hot-swappable server, where things kept running while you upgraded components inside a machine. We've got the first hot-swappable application server."

The new version of the J2EE application server, dubbed WebLogic Real Time Edition, will be aimed at financial, telecommunications and aerospace industries, company executives said.

According to industry analysts, WebLogic's application server enjoys considerable popularity. However, open-source software maker JBoss and market leader IBM via WebSphere continue to mount pressure on BEA.

BEA has historically focused on its J2EE application servers, but it has diversified into areas such as messaging, service management, data unification and security for companies looking to implement service-orientated architecture, or SOA.

The company plans to become more platform-agnostic, supporting a variety of open-source frameworks, scripting languages and further integration of .NET applications.

WebLogic Real Time Edition is understood to be a separate product from the standard WebLogic Server 9, which is already available. The new edition is expected to be shipped before the end of the year.

Builder AU's Brendon Chase travelled to Santa Clara, Calif., as a guest of BEA Systems.