BEA’s ‘Liquid Data’ to improve software functions

CIOL Bureau
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NEW YORK: Software maker BEA Systems Inc. next week is expected to announce a

new product designed to allow developers to create programs that quickly

retrieve specific information from among the mountains of data that companies

store on hundreds of different databases.


The new product, called Liquid Data, is one of several new products that BEA

is developing to allow applications to manage and correct themselves, improve

the information they provide, and make them more secure.

"That's very critical," BEA Chief Executive Alfred Chuang recently

told investors at Merrill Lynch's annual software and Internet conference held

this week.

San Jose, California-based BEA is scheduled to release its third-quarter

financial results Tuesday and hold a one-day conference with analysts on



On Nov. 1, it warned its quarterly results would not meet the consensus of

analysts expectations because of the weakened economy. BEA said it expected

earnings, before charges, to be 5 cents or 6 cents a share said it would cut it

work force by 9 per cent to 10 per cent.

Since then, shares of BEA have risen 35 per cent, closing Friday at $15.74,

up 80 cents, or 5 per cent.

BEA is the No. 1 market leader in application servers -- a layer of software

which developers use as a foundation for building new programs -- a highly

competitive area dominated by BEA and No. 2 International Business Machines. In

addition, companies such as Sun Microsystems Inc.'s iPlanet, Oracle Corp. and

Iona Technologies Plc have, within the past year, made aggressive moves into the



"It's somewhat of a change," Prudential analyst John McPeake said,

who has a "hold" rating on the stock. "They're under price

pressure. They need to add functionality to their suite to hold unit pricing. I

don't think its time to think everything's fine for BEA."

As the complexity of business information has increased, the application

server makers have moved to broaden product offerings. Integration capabilities

have now become a nearly standard offering and most offer Web services, a more

advanced integration that allows information to be packaged as building blocks

that can be used and reused easily by different computer systems.

BEA's products are based on Sun's Java language, which is expected to face

greater competition as Microsoft Corp. rolls out its own business application

and integration software strategy called .NET.


In addition to Liquid Data, which focuses on the area of "real time data

aggregation technology" Chuang said BEA is looking to expand into four

other major categories:

* Products that ensure the software works properly. If an application fails

and the computer screen freezes, the technology will ensure it will resume from

where it left off and not lose any data or work.

BEA is working on an agreement with application performance and testing

software maker Mercury Interactive to offer the technology that would allow an

application to monitor its own performance, Chuang said.


* Products to ensure applications running on any type of device -- a

hand-held computer, two-way pager or personal computer -- displays information

securely to the correct user.

* Products that keep updating spreadsheets and documents with real-time

information, rather than waiting for a user to update it.

* Software that allows a single application to run on any kind of device.

(C) Reuters Limited.