Buy Makes Progress More Competitive in SOA Market


Progress Software's $162 million buyout of Iona Technologies -- both essentially SOA vendors -- was the talk of the town (Blogsville, that is) this week.


Iona's board has already approved the deal, according to Boston.com.


Progress is best known for its Sonic enterprise service bus. Iona also offers an ESB, as well as Orbix middleware and the FUSE messaging broker.


Overall, the analysts who spoke with PC World seemed to think this was good news in terms of what SOA "products" you can buy. "Finally, a SOA infrastructure deal that makes good sense on both sides," Jason Bloomberg of ZapThink remarked to PC World via e-mail. Principal analyst of Interarbor Solutions Dana Gardner added that the acquistion would make Progress competitive with IBM, Oracle and Red Hat.


Gardner offered a more complete analysis of the acquisition on his ZDNet blog, writing:

"Only a SOA mashup could make good bedfellows of these. That's because one company's lineage reaches back to the origins of client-server computing (Progress was founded in 1981), while the other reaches back to the emergence of the mainframe world into distributed computing (IONA was formed in 1991). ... And yet despite their disparate origins, the companies match up quite well, on product capabilities, locations, direction and client verticals."

Still, there's some debate over what this means for Iona. The major questions analysts are asking are how this will affect Iona's open source approach -- given that Progress is not open source -- and whether Iona will remain an independent company or its products or functions will be integrated into and ultimately subsumed by Progress' line-up.


ZDNet columnist Joe McKendrick pointed out that Progress tends to hold onto brands, rather than consume them -- indeed, the official line from Progress is that Iona will be an "indirect wholly owned subsidiary. But pundit and fellow IT Business Edge blogger Dennis Byron isn't buying it, arguing that's really not "a viable strategic position for so small a company as Iona."


That's all conjecture, of course. We won't know for sure until well after September, when the deal is set to close.


In other integration-news: Clean Your Data, For Free. What's clean data got to do with integration? Well, duh. As InformationWeek's John Foley pointed out recently, "There's no sense integrating business data if it's not of high quality because you risk contaminating good information with bad, resulting in off-the-mark marketing programs and business intelligence."


Foley reported this week that Talend is now offering an open source tool called Open Profiler -- the company says it's the first open source data profiler. It can be used with Linux, UNIX and Windows and includes a metadata repository.


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