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BEA dials in new WebLogic software

A telecom-specific Java server is the first step in introducing other industry-specific versions for retail and financial services.

BEA Systems detailed an initiative to tailor products to telecommunications carriers, part of a strategy to introduce industry-specific versions of its software.

The company on Monday released WebLogic Communications Platform, code-named Da Vinci, a version of its Java server software designed for telecom companies seeking to build applications based on emerging industry standards. The server software has built-in support of the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) for communicating a person's presence on a network.

BEA is also working on WebLogic Network Gateway, a set of tools designed to help carriers track the performance of their applications.

WebLogic is used to build and run custom Java programs. Because of price pressure on commonly available services, telecommunications companies need development tools and server software to introduce applications quickly based on new technology, such as the voice over IP technology for Internet telephony, said Alfred Chuang, BEA's CEO.

The telecom-ready edition of WebLogic is part of a set of services and sales efforts aimed at the telecommunications industry, traditionally a strong area for BEA, which competes with IBM, Microsoft and Oracle.

BEA intends to release editions of WebLogic targeted at the financial-services industry and retail. The retail-oriented version, which will make it easier to gather information from radio frequency ID chips, is expected to be available this year.

The generic edition of BEA's infrastructure software, called the WebLogic application server 9, is due for release in April, BEA's chief marketing officer, Marge Breya, said in a January interview. She said technology developed in industry-specific versions of WebLogic can eventually be applied to WebLogic's entire product line.