EclipseCon 2007 March 5-8, Santa Clara California

BEA WorkSpace 360: Transforming IT Agility into Business Agility

Pieter Humphrey (BEA Systems), Jess Garms (BEA Systems)

· Long Talk

Wednesday, 10:10, 50 minutes | Grand Ballroom E


Jess Garms

Investments in Information Technology (IT) can improve the bottom line, but actually realizing the potential gains requires aligning IT output with business requirements. Nowhere is achieving such alignment more difficult than in application development and integration projects. These projects have uncertain outcomes since IT personnel build solutions to given specifications. Before users judge how well an application fulfills their needs, the original requirements must flow from business analysts to application architects, to software developers, and finally to operations staff. Making each transition requires jumping a gap from one domain of expertise to another. Stumbling over these gaps can knock the resulting IT solution out of alignment with the original business requirements. Since each domain of expertise has its own “island” of tools that supports its specific tasks, crossing domains relies on individual ingenuity to manually translate the output of one domain into input for another. Even if an individual manages to generate a perfect translation one time, the impact of business changes and technical obstacles requires multiple leaps back and forth. Inevitably, errors accumulate and the solution’s capabilities fail to fully satisfy the business’s objectives. While these accumulated errors degrade solution effectiveness in all industries, certain types of industries feel particularly acute pain because of their business environments. In financial services, time is money— application delivery delays mean lost business opportunities. In telecommunications, flexibility wins customers while missing features mean lower revenues. In government, scale magnifies mistakes, causing early interpretation errors to snowball into huge cost overruns. Communication gaps in the development process are the number-one enemy of successful projects in these verticals. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) has made IT itself more agile, but it has not affected the challenge of aligning IT with the business— until now. BEA WorkSpace 360° is a two to three year vision for creating a shared collaborative environment for the design, development, deployment, and management of composite applications in SOA. BEA WorkSpace 360° leverages SOA to transform the entire development process by focusing on building permanent bridges across domains. While each domain gets its own workspace of capabilities tailored to its needs, all workspaces fit together to provide seamless information sharing across the different domains. New collaboration, business process management, and repository capabilities enable contributors from all domains to coordinate gracefully. By providing automated support for transitions between and visibility among all the stages in the application and business lifecycle, BEA WorkSpace 360° will improve success rates, decrease delivery times, and increase user satisfaction. Better applications yield more effective processes, and IT agility becomes business agility. It addresses needs and functions of the key stakeholders involved in the SOA lifecycle in order to create a seamless flow of information and requirements across the different stages of the lifecycle. In addition to BEA WorkSpace 360°, the session will briefly review BEA’s Eclipse participation. The demonstration will follow the path of the SOA lifecycle, and will show the seamless flow of data and information across stages and audiences to construct a composite application.

Pieter Humphrey has provided extensive mentoring and instruction for clients on BEA's WebLogic product line of Server, Portal, Integration and Workshop since joining BEA in 2001. Working in with core IT and Java/J2EE since 1998 has provided him with a solid background for his current position in developer tools marketing for the BEA Workshop product family. Pieter is a frequent speaker at trade and customer events and Bay Area user groups.

Jess Garms is the Eclipse development lead at BEA Systems. Prior to that, he worked on BEA's Java IDE, WebLogic Workshop. Additionally, he has worked extensively with cryptography, and co-authored "Professional Java Security", published by Wrox Press.

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