Hewlett-Packard and BEA Systems will today announce that BEA's WebLogic application server will be bundled free with all copies of the HP-UX 11i operating system worldwide. Customers can utilize a fully functioning copy of WebLogic for free for six months, after which time they will need to license the software at list prices for continued use.
Furthermore, HP has said that it will soon offer to bundle WebLogic with all HP platforms including NonStop Kernel, Open VMS, and the Tru64 Unix, as well as Windows 2000 and Linux.
The news further strengthens BEA and HP's existing partnership, which already saw BEA as the application server of choice for HP platforms, with HP cross-marketing and selling WebLogic.
HP had tried and failed to establish its own application server - garnered via the acquisition of BlueStone - as the app server for HP platforms, but in July abandoned its NetAction Java and web services middleware strategy, saying then that BEA would become its application server of choice. HP cited "heavy losses" for its decision to exit the middleware market with its own products.
The free bundling deal comes into force worldwide immediately, and those who already have HP-UX 11i can request a free copy of the WebLogic server from either BEA or HP. HP will also announce today that its OpenView systems management software can also be used to monitor and manage Java 2 Enterprise Edition applications running on the WebLogic platform. This brings WebLogic applications into the OpenView management console.
Peter Cook, BEA alliances director, told ComputerWire that BEA hopes that the majority of customers will license BEA's WebLogic at the end of the six months free period, and said that HP and BEA had written software utilities to help automate the process of moving from HP's former NetAction app server to BEA's own. Cook also said that BEA would not announce similar bundling deals with other companies' operating systems. However, he also stressed that BEA would not be optimizing WebLogic for HP operating systems to the detriment of other vendors' operating systems.
Customers opting to use WebLogic for free for six months will be offered "full" support for the platform via BEA's EvalNet, which provides support newsgroups, online technical resources, and access to BEA's team of developer relations engineers via the web.