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BEA, RIM to partner on Web services tool

The software maker and the handheld device maker are collaborating on technology that will make it faster and easier for developers to build Web services for BlackBerry devices.

    BEA Systems is partnering with wireless device maker Research In Motion to create a tool for programmers to build Web-based software and services for BlackBerry devices.

    Software maker BEA and handheld device maker RIM will announce Wednesday that they are collaborating on technology that will make it faster and easier for developers to build Web services for BlackBerry devices. Web services is software that is accessible over the Internet over multiple devices, such as PCs, cell phones and other handhelds.

    BEA and RIM are partnering to build a software "framework," or prewritten software code that automates some development tasks and allows programmers to easily tailor their Web services for BlackBerry devices. The prewritten software code will work with BEA's forthcoming WebLogic Workshop tool for building Web services.

    BEA competes against Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Oracle, IBM and others in the lucrative market for e-business software. The software makers sell low-cost software development tools, hoping that will pave the way for corporate developers to buy their more expensive technology, such as e-business software, database management software, or high-powered computers.

    Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, IBM and others also have tools aimed at mobile devices.

    BEA and RIM's partnership will allow corporate developers and business software makers to take existing software and make it available on a BlackBerry, said Byron Sebastian, BEA's senior director of product management.

    For example, company employees can tap into their company's customer relationship management (CRM) software in the future and get customer support or sales information on their BlackBerry devices," Sebastian said. CRM software automates sales, marketing and customer service activities.

    BEA's Sebastian said the company has not yet decided when the software framework will be delivered and how much it will cost. BEA expects to release its WebLogic Workshop tool this summer.