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As such, the list of vendors hawking application servers -- which reads like a who's who of computing -- is ever growing. Although currently ranked No. 1 in marketplace positioning, BEA Systems, with its latest version of WebLogic Server 6.0, faces stiff competition from fast-approaching rivals, including IBM with WebSphere, the Sun-Netscape Alliance with iPlanet, and newcomer Oracle with its Oracle 9i.
Looking to extend its lead, BEA's latest release delivers numerous enhancements, including updates to reflect recent improvements in the current Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) specifications, added support for EJB 2.0, and features such as the Java Management Extension (JMX).
Other new features include an implementation of the JavaMail specification along with a new internationalized message catalog that makes it easier to provide localized error messages for those who do business abroad.
This update of WebLogic also addresses one of the major drawbacks of past releases: the need for a separate Web server. In addition to being compatible with the HTTP 1.1 standard, WebLogic Server 6.0 supports both servlets and JavaServer Pages (JSP). As an added bonus, the server even offers virtual-hosting support, load balancing, and failover capabilities.
For shops considering asynchronous messaging as a means to not only effectively transmit events between applications, but also to loosely couple their systems, this latest release implements the Java Message Service (JMS). In addition to integrating well with the clustering service, the WebLogic Server's implementation of JMS boasts the capability of handling database, file, or even in-memory persistence, giving developers a choice between publish/subscribe and point-to-point messaging.