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Martin LaMonica


BEA Systems said it will release a test version of its latest WebLogic Server software later this month, and the company also detailed product delivery plans for next year.

The infrastructure software company said Tuesday that WebLogic Server 9.0, code-named Diablo, will be available for download Dec. 16. At that time, BEA will also release a beta version of its JRockit Java virtual machine for running Java programs on Windows and Linux, which BEA co-develops with Intel.

The WebLogic application server is used to build and run programs written in Java. The application server is the foundation of a suite of server-based products from BEA, including a portal, integration software, security and data access.

Next summer, BEA intends to ship the final version of WebLogic Server as well as a related programming tool called WebLogic Workshop.

The latest edition of WebLogic Server is designed to help programmers write applications that adhere to Web services protocols, which are meant to ease interoperability between disparate systems.

The server software works as a hub for sending messages that pass data between programs. With the latest version, BEA is adding support for a proposed standard called WS-Reliable Messaging for sending messages.

Other improvements include the ability to update and patch the WebLogic applications without having to bring the entire server software down and support for the security standard called Security Assertion Markup Language, which allows people to log on to several back-end applications at the same time.

BEA is also developing a standards-based integration and Web services management product code-named Quicksilver. That product, which will be sold separately from WebLogic Server, will enter beta testing next spring and be available later in 2005, said Eric Stahl, senior director of product marketing at BEA.

BEA also expects to complete work on the WebLogic server software suite, called WebLogic Platform 9.0, by the second half of next year.

In addition, the company is working on versions of the WebLogic software tuned specifically for vertical industries, including telecommunications, financial services and manufacturing. The first product aimed at the telecommunications market, code-named Da Vinci, and one for the manufacturing market, which will have built-in support for RFID, or radio frequency identification, tags, are both due next year.

Pricing for WebLogic Server 9.0 will be consistent with the current version. Pricing for a low-end edition will start at $495 per CPU and go up to $17,000 for a fully loaded product, Stahl said.