Kissimmee, Fla. -- Although BEA Systems has been in the somewhat-peculiar position of backing rival Web services choreography efforts, aligning with IBM and Microsoft on one proposal and Sun Microsystems on another, details of the company's new product suite, WebLogic Platform 8.1, reveal that BEA is moving closer to the IBM-Microsoft camp.
WebLogicPlatform 8.1, the company's Java applications platform suite unveiled at the BEA eWorld conference here Monday, supports the IBM-Microsoft-BEA Web services choreography proposal, known as Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS), said company CTO Scott Dietzen, in an interview this week. Version 8.1, however, does not support the rival Sun-driven effort, Web Services Choreography Interface (WSCI), which also has had BEA's endorsement.
Web services choreography involves automation of Web services and is considered crucial for applications such as Web services-based transactions. An implementation of BPEL4WS is included in WebLogic Platform 8.1, Dietzen acknowledged.
"We're supporting BPEL4WS [in Version 8.1] because big customers, like Siebel, want it. We haven't had the same demand for WSCI," so it is not in the Version 8.1 container, said Dietzen.
Dietzen, however, noted that BPEL4WS is not a finalized proposal and that BEA hopes a single standard for choreography can be forged.
Two attendees at eWorld had differing perspectives on choreography standards efforts and Web services standards in general, but agreed on their importance.
"I think [standards are] critically important," said Erik Jordan, national technology director for Born, a systems integrator and consulting firm in Minnetonka, Minn. "I think that's probably one of the things that's really slowed down Web services adoption has been the lack of standards."