BEA Bows New App Servers, Sales Channels

San Jose, Calif.’s BEA Systems Monday unveiled two new members of its application server family, as well as e-commerce channels to fuel its J2EE technology offerings.

BEA WebLogic Express and BEA WebLogic Server, Workgroup Edition are tailored for the budget and application needs of departments of some 20 to 25 people, said Frazier Miller, Director of Product Strategy for at BEA.

Designed to help create Java Server Pages (JSP) and Java servlets, WebLogic Express is used to develop basic Web applications, such as corporate Web sites. Miller said WebLogic Express features the same code base as the company’s flagship WebLogic Server. Pricing for the new product is $694 per user.

For projects in need of more advanced J2EE functionality, BEA WebLogic Server, Workgroup Edition gives departments the same features found in BEA’s flagship Java application server, including Enterprise JavaBean (EJB) support. Pricing for this product is $4,000 per user.

The new products are geared to give BEA, who competes fiercely with the likes of IBM and Oracle in the multi-billion-dollar application server market, an advantage. BEA pits its WebLogic server versus IBM’s WebSphere and Oracle’s 9iAS products in the lucrative market.

To build the momentum BEA desires, the new products call for new sales channels, according to Miller, who said BEA is looking to give customers an easier way to purchase its software for departmental projects. The software maker Tuesday will unveil BEA Storefront, a new (and the company’s first) e-commerce portal on, to help sell WebLogic Express.

Miller said BEA scored an agreement with the popular Programmer’s Paradise, which resells developer tools and runtimes. BEA hopes this will make it easier and less expensive for developers and IT managers to access and build on the BEA WebLogic Enterprise Platform.

Both channels will offer BEA WebLogic Express with the option of either BEA Production Support or BEA dev2dev Support, a new low-cost support program with e-mail interface to customer service representatives, according to Miller.

WebLogic Express with dev2dev support is immediately available. WebLogic Workgroup is available through BEA’s direct sales force.