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BEA Systems joins NT stampede

The vendor of Unix-based transaction middleware releases BEA Tuxedo, NT Edition, an NT-based management tool, and an ActiveX-based development package.

BEA Systems (BEAS) is joining the stampede of big system software vendors to Windows NT.

The company, which sells Unix-based transaction middleware, has released BEA Tuxedo, NT Edition, along with an NT-based management tool and an ActiveX-based development package for building Windows-based Tuxedo applications.

Tuxedo is middleware that manages multiple concurrent transactions between client systems and back-end databases. Tuxedo and other similar products, such as IBM's CICS and Encina, and to a lesser extent Microsoft's Microsoft Transaction Server and Sybase's Jaguar CTS, are essential for building applications, such airline reservation systems, where thousands of concurrent users are issuing transactions to database systems.

BEA shipped a port of its Unix-based Tuxedo for Windows NT in 1995. But, the company said, that version was not written to run natively on NT or to take advantage of NT system services.

The new NT Edition does that, and adds Windows-like look and feel and ease of use. It is priced at $395 per concurrent user.

BEA has also partnered with Digital Equipment, Tandem Computer, and Unisys to allow Tuxedo to work with NT-based systems from those makers.

Middleware like Tuxedo is being ported to NT as Microsoft gets ready to bolster the operating systems scalability. The company plans to announce new clustering software, which lets multiple NT-based servers to function as a single large server, on May 20 as part of an event labeled Scalability Day.

Tandem announced its own Windows NT-based scalability technology today.

The management tool, BEA Manager Web Console, is a Java-based administration tool that allows for management of Tuxedo over the Web. The tool costs $1,000 per management node.

The development tool, BEA Builder for ActiveX, provides access to Tuxedo services through an ActiveX interface for use by Windows developers. BEA Builder can be used with other tools that support ActiveX, such as Microsoft's Visual Basic, to build client interfaces to Tuxedo. It will ship by summer. Pricing has not been announced.