BEA Systems, Inc. is a subsidiary of Oracle Corporation, specializing in enterprise infrastructure software products known as "middleware", which connect software applications to databases.
BEA began as a software
company, founded in 1995 and headquartered in San Jose, California
. It grew to have 78 offices worldwide at the time of its acquisition by Oracle.
The company's name is an acronym of the first names of the company's three founders: Bill Coleman, Ed Scott and Alfred Chuang. All were former employees of Sun Microsystems, and launched the business in 1995 by acquiring Information Management and Independence Technologies. These firms were the largest resellers of Tuxedo, a distributed transaction management system sold by Novell. BEA soon acquired the Tuxedo product itself, and went on to acquire other middleware companies and products, including ObjectBroker and NCR's Top End product.
In 1998, BEA acquired the San Francisco start-up WebLogic, a very early implementor of Sun Microsystems' J2EE specification. WebLogic's re-branded server formed the basis of BEA's WebLogic application server sold today.
In 2005, BEA launched a new brand identity with the slogan "Think Liquid". BEA also announced a new product line called AquaLogic, which is an infrastructure software family for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). In late 2005 the company announced the acquisitions of M7, an Eclipse-based tools company, and SolarMetric, editors of the Kodo persistence engine.
The acquisitions continued in 2006 with Plumtree Software, an enterprise portal company; Fuego, a business process management (BPM) software company; and Flashline, a metadata repository company. These acquisitions have since become parts of the AquaLogic SOA product stack.
On October 12, 2007, Oracle announced their intent to buy BEA Systems for $6.7 billion. As a result of the offer, BEA's stock price rose over five dollars upon the opening of trading for the day. BEA turned the offer down the same day, saying that the company is "worth substantially more". On January 16, 2008 Oracle signed a definite agreement to buy BEA for $8.5 billion. It is believed that Carl Icahn, one of the company's most prominent shareholders, was the main reason that the deal happened.
On April 29, 2008 Oracle completed its acquisition of BEA. As of 2008, Alfred Chuang is still with the company.
In January 2008, BEA Systems closed out its fiscal year 2008 with $1.535bn in revenues, 10% higher than the previous year. GAAP net income reached $208.2 million.
BEA had three major product lines:
- Tuxedo - transaction oriented middleware platform
- WebLogic - J2EE enterprise infrastructure platform
- AquaLogic - Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) platform
BEA started out with the Tuxedo software product, but currently the products they are best known for in the computer industry are the BEA WebLogic product family, which consists of WebLogic Server, WebLogic Workshop, WebLogic Portal, WebLogic Integration and JRockit. In 2005, BEA launched a new product family called AquaLogic for service-oriented architecture deployment. They have also entered the telecommunications field with their WebLogic Communications Platform, which includes WebLogic SIP Server and WebLogic Network Gatekeeper. BEA also has a product offering for the RFID market called the BEA WebLogic RFID Product Family
BEA Systems produces the AquaLogic software suite for managing service-oriented architecture (SOA). It includes following products:
- BEA AquaLogic BPM suite, a set of business process management (BPM) tools. It combines workflow and process technology with enterprise application integration functionality. The suite consists of tools aimed for line of business personnel for creating business process models (AquaLogic BPM Designer), as well as tools for IT personnel to create actual business process applications directly from said models (AquaLogic BPM Studio). The completed business process applications are deployed on a production server (AquaLogic BPM Enterprise Server), from which they integrate to backend applications and generate portal views for human interactions in the process. It also comes with a customizable tools for live business activity monitoring (BAM).
- BEA AquaLogic User Interaction, a set of tools used to create portals, collaborative communities composite applications and other applications that use service architecture. These technologies work cross-platform. This technology came to BEA Systems from its acquisition of Plumtree Software.
- BEA AquaLogic Enterprise Repository, a vital element of effective Service-oriented architecture life cycle governance, manages the metadata for any type of software asset, from business processes and Web Services to patterns, frameworks, applications, and components. It maps the relationships and interdependencies that connect these assets to improve impact analysis, promote and systematize software reuse, and measure the impact on the bottom line.
- BEA AquaLogic Service Bus, an enterprise service bus (ESB) with operational service-management that allows the interaction between services, routing relationships, transformations, and policies.
- BEA AquaLogic Service Registry, a UDDI v3 registry with an embedded governance framework. It provides a repository where services can be registered and reused for developing or modifying applications.
- BEA AquaLogic Data Services Platform (previously known as Liquid Data), providing tools for creating and managing different data services. It uses the XQuery language for data composition and transformation for a variety of data sources, including relational databases and web services.
- BEA AquaLogic Enterprise Security, a security infrastructure application for distributed authentication, fine-grained entitlements and other security services. Features include allowing users to define access rules for applications without modifying the software itself, including JSP pages, EJBs and portlets.