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BEA Jolt extends reach for Web

BEA's new version of the transaction software includes promised support for JavaBeans, as well as for HTML-based clients.

BEA Systems continues to extend the reach of its transaction software to the Web.

Today the company released a new version of BEA Jolt, a product for linking applications based on its Tuxedo backend transaction system to Internet applications.

The new release of Jolt includes promised support for JavaBeans, as well as for HTML-based clients.

The JavaBeans support means that developers can use tools that support JavaBeans, which are reusable code components, to build client applications for Tuxedo. BEA calls its JavaBeans implementation JoltBeans.

Also, developers can now move software to support Tuxedo transactions from client machines to Web servers. That means any Web browser can be a Tuxedo client, through BEA's proprietary Web Application Services class libraries hosted on a Web server.

The JoltBeans and Web Application Services software can be downloaded at no charge by existing Jolt users. Jolt is priced from $3,000 per server.

BEA is angling to become the leading supplier of transaction processing software and related middleware, a category of software that's becoming increasingly important as companies link older, existing business applications to the Web for new e-commerce systems.

Transaction processing middleware has for years been used to manage data traffic on large mainframe and Unix-based systems.

The software is designed to make sure business transactions--credit card orders, airline reservations, money transfers--don't get lost. Products like Top End, Tuxedo, and IBM's CICS and Encina can also be used to access distributed applications running on disparate operating systems and hardware.

Last week, BEA acquired Top End middleware technology and related software from NCR. BEA plans to combine Top End with Tuxedo to create a new transaction software product.

Next week, BEA is expected to debut a project code-named Iceberg that combines its Tuxedo middleware with MessageQ, a message queuing product, and object request broker technology it purchased from Digital Equipment last year.

Iceberg, along with a similar product already shipping from IBM, called Component Broker, are examples of the consolidation occurring in what has been a staid market for transactional middleware.

Microsoft is also making a play for a piece of the middleware market with a set of technologies based on its COM (component object model) technology. The company will detail additional plans at next week's TechEd conference in New Orleans.