BEA buzzing about Beehive

Company boosts tools effort, will stay outside Eclipse

BURLINGAME, CALIF.-- BEA Systems is expanding the open source Beehive initiative but still has no plans to participate in the Eclipse open source tools organization, despite the embrace of Beehive by Eclipse.

The company within a couple of weeks plans to announce additional application servers supporting Beehive, which currently functions with the company’s own WebLogic Server application server and the Apache Tomcat servlet container. Company officials discussed Beehive at a “dev2dev days” event here on Thursday. BEA’s dev2dev program features an online resource center and developer community.

BEA announced Project Beehive in May as an open source effort for building SOA (service-oriented architecture) and Java applications. It is based on BEA WebLogic Workshop technologies such as Java controls, which are reusable meta-driven software components, and Java Web services and Java PageFlows, which is technology intended to boost interoperability and productivity. Beehive is now an Apache Software Foundation project. More than 50 partners, including PeopleSoft, Siebel, and eBay, are participating in the Beehive Workshop Control Program, according to BEA.

“The idea behind Beehive is to try to make J2EE application development more straightforward,” said Adam Fitzgerald, a senior technologist at BEA. Beehive has helped accelerate the adoption of the company’s WebLogic 8.1 technology, said Scott Regan, director of developer marketing at BEA.

“I think Beehive makes the Java community as a whole stronger,” added Garrett Conaty, principal technologist at BEA.

An attendee at the dev2dev event said he was interested in Beehive, although he has not yet used it. “I definitely want to check it out, though,” said attendee Jeff Klein, a senior software engineer at Zone Labs who participates in development of Web services and e-commerce applications.

Klein expressed interest in the Java PageFlows feature of Beehive, which purports to make it easier to use Struts Web application development technology. “I know it’s a real pain” to develop on Struts, Klein said.

BEA officials noted the Eclipse organization features a project called Pollinate, to enable Beehive developers to work with the Eclipse IDE. But they said BEA still has no plans to join Eclipse.

“We’re happy to see the Eclipse project support Beehive,” Conaty said. Asked why the company would not join, Regan stressed the company’s commitment to its own Workshop IDE.

Sun Microsystems also remains outside the realm of Eclipse, an effort that has been driven by IBM.

BEA officials also said the company is preparing to soon launch a Web-based code-sharing program as part of dev2dev, to be called dev2dev CodeShare. Plans call for BEA to partner with CollabNet to enable developers to work on projects such as plug-ins, components, and code samples. Bug tracking also will be featured.

“This is a significant addition to dev2dev,” Regan said.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.