BEA's Genesis to back open source, scripting languages

Details of next-generation apps platform fleshed out by executives

BEA Systems' planned next-generation application platform, called Project Genesis, will feature an open source component and accommodate scripting languages such as Ruby and Perl, BEA officials said at the BEAWorld San Francisco conference on Tuesday.

Open source has been great for proliferating knowledge in the marketplace, said Alfred Chuang, BEA chairman, CEO, and president. In addition, he mentioned that development technologies will be open-sourced as part of Genesis and that BEA already offers open source technologies to the Eclipse Foundation. "We also believe that we likely have to be grooming and starting up a new community," he said.

Genesis is intended to enable quick development of applications without requiring new infrastructure. It will feature tools that take collaboration, social tagging, and business process management and integrate them with existing enterprise applications. New sets of applications can be built, including mashups and composite applications as well as business processes. Wikis, blogs, and RSS feeds also are to be part of Genesis, said Rob Levy, CTO at BEA. The company announced Project Genesis earlier on Tuesday.

Chuang, however, cautioned against going open source for the sake of going open source.

"I think open source for open source's sake has been useless," Chuang said.

"Some companies have taken multimillion lines of operating system code and open-sourced it," he said, critically. Although sometime-BEA rival Sun Microsystems did this with its Solaris OS, Chuang said his comment was not specifically targeted at Sun. Others have done this as well, he said.

Genesis will support Java code as well as scripting languages, Chuang said. He cited scripting languages as an area where BEA historically has not had much involvement.

A specific product plan for Genesis is set to be unveiled at the BEAWorld Shanghai conference in December. BEA officials stressed some components of Genesis, such as BEA's enterprise service bus technology, already exist. New products are to include a rules engine technology, as well as offerings for data manipulation and structured mapping.

"Genesis is sort of where ultimately we want to take AquaLogic for this new generation of applications," Chuang said. AquaLogic is a BEA middleware platform.

Genesis will support SaaS (software as a service) methodologies in that ISVs could use Genesis to build applications, which they could then offer via a SaaS format, Levy said.

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Paul Krill

InfoWorld
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