BEA Systems today unveiled plans to release a new version of its flagship application server that will allow upgrades to mission critical applications on the fly.

“Upgrades are now on the fly. 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,” CEO Alfred Chuang told approximately 2,000 delegates at the company’s user conference in Santa Clara, California.

The new version of its 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 is the second most popular application server. However, open-source software maker JBoss and market leader IBM via WebSphere continue to mount pressure on BEA.

BEA has traditionally focus on selling its J2EE application servers but it has since diversified into areas such as messaging, service management, data unification and security for companies looking to implement Service Orientated Architecture (SOA). It 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.

Brendon Chase travelled to Santa Clara, California as a guest of BEA Systems.