BEAWorld – Day 1

The first day at BEA was pretty cool – The day started as usual as Marge Breya, the Chief Marketing Officer playing emcee. Some of the attendee stats from BEAWorld 2005 are:

  • 1000 architects
  • 500 IT folks
  • 500 Developers
  • 00+ IT Management

Marge got things started by bringing on Alfred Chuang, the CEO of BEA Systems and he gave the ‘state-of-BEA’ address, AquaLogic and some great demos of WebLogic 9 with Bill Roth. There was emphasis again on blending the best of open-source with WebLogic and Alfred announced that BEA would release a certified version of Spring. Not sure if I heard that right as I haven’t seen anything in the press releases. Will have to catch Keith Donald or Colin Sampaleanu tomorrow to see if they have any additional details. The big thing that wasn’t really new to me or anyone else was the idea of zero downtime where you can hotswap application as well as the application server itself. After Alfred, Richard Wirt from Intel came on and talked about Wifi, WiMax and their internal software and SOA initiatives.

After the break was the SOA panel discussion (see press release). I was really excited to be able to participate in the SOA panel discussion to discuss best practice strategies and answer questions from our specific perspective. In addition to me, the other panelists were John Peebles from Cendant, Doug Saucier from Sony Pictures Entertainment and Patrick Holmes Intel. We were short on time and so I couldn’t go into some of the details I wanted to get into. I’ll post my comments here as a separate post later in the week as I had a ballpark idea on the questions.

After lunch, attended a couple of sessions on what’s new in WebLogic 9.0, Portal 8.x and the 9.0.3 roadmap. Looks like v9.x of Portal will include a really cool application called Groupspace that is basically a ‘Intranet-in-a-box’ with things like document library, announcement, issues, search (Autonomy), RSS, rich-text (Wiki like) and discussion thread. Just add the ability to blog and you’ve got a killer app. The next session I went to was essentially an ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) session with Paul Patrick. Didn’t really learn anything new there but Paul is a great feature and he had a pretty engaging presentation. It was interesting to see that BEA was OEM’ing stuff from Amberpoint and SOA Software. Amberpoint is a great company started by Paul Butterworth, who used to the CTO for Forte. Forte was eventually acquired by Sun for billions and I’ve used to see Sun use anything from Forte. I think they used the Forte name of the NetBeans tools but I’m sure all the ex-Forte guys are laughing all the way to the bank. Another boneheaded move by Sun!

The last session I attended was the Web Services programming model session with Jim Trezzo and Brian Zotter. Brian and Jim were on the expert group for JSR-181 and Brian is now the spec lead. It was really interesting to see the use of annotations that are JSR-175 compliant unlike the previous WebLogic proprietary Javadoc tags. What was interesting was the whole section on asynchronous Web Services messaging with support for WS-ReliableMessaging, WP-Proxy, WS-Addressing and the rest of the WS-* stack. Can’t wait to try out long-running processes with a callback to see if this really works. With JAX-RPC going away, I asked a couple of questions about JAX-WS but didn’t get any commitment from BEA on the future.

The last general session of the day was Burt Rutan and that was a really awesome session. I am a big fan of Burt’s and his work with Scaled Composite and SpaceShipOne and it was great to hear him speak about the lack of innovation in terms of airplane and spacecraft design. I also got the opportunity to get a picture taken with him. I know it’s cheesy but Burt Rutan is a great American and a brilliant man.

Too many bears at the pavilion event – Need to hit the sack to get ready to do this all over again.

BEAWorld, WebLogic, Web Services, JAX-WS, Burt Rutan, WS-ReliableMessaging, WP-Proxy, WS-Addressing