Twist on Now Familiar Tale of Independent Middleware Buyout

Loraine Lawson

Another middleware company bites the dust.


Cape Clear, one of the last vendors to offer an independent enterprise service bus, was bought out this week by Workday, a SaaS provider.


Details of the buyout were not disclosed. Workday did say it's acquiring Cape Clear so it can offer on-demand integration. Cape Clear's ESB will not be maintained as a separate product, though Workday did say it will continue to support existing Cape Clear customers, according to Information Week. And, of course, Cape Clear's technology and the team developing it will remain.


For you business readers out there, an ESB is basically middleware software used for managing services and other integration-related tasks. ESBs are often a staple for service-oriented architecture.


Hosted business application provider Workday said Wednesday that it has acquired Cape Clear to create an integration on-demand offering.


Workday President Aneel Bhusri apparently waxed philosophical about the buyout. During a conference call about the deal, Bhusri pointed out the notion of middleware as a standalone offering is disappearing, reports Intelligent Enterprise. As proof, in addition to the Workday/Cape Clear deal, Bhusri pointed to Oracle's buyout of BEA. "The coming together of middleware and app companies is more the norm," Bhusri said. "This is just the way the market is headed in the future."


Todd Biske, an enterprise architect with a Fortune 500 company in the St. Louis area, was not quite so sanguine when he posted about the purchase on his blog, "Outside the Box." He noted this is not your typical ERP-buying-out-a-middleware-company deal. It's unusual because Workday is a start-up and a hosted solution. Writes Biske:

"It will remain to be seen how well Workday can support the existing CapeClear customers who are using it as a mediation fabric, since their bread and butter is the ERP system, not middleware."
In other integration news this week:


Apatar Allies with EnterpriseDB. Apatar offers open source tools for data integration. This week, the company unveiled a support agreement with EnterpriseDB, an Oracle-compatible database company. Apatar designs its tools for business users, so IT doesn't need to get bogged down in basic integration.


The new partnership will enable non-IT folk to use Apatar's visual toolset to integrate EnterpriseDB information with databases such as MySQL, Microsoft SQL and Oracle; files, including Excel spreadsheets and CSV/TXT files; applications, such as Salesforce.com and SugarCRM; and Web 2.0 technologies, such as RSS feeds and some sites, including Flickr and Amazon S3.


IBM Capitalizes on Cognos Purchase with 10 BI Packages. IBM didn't waste any time taking advantage of its $5 billion purchase of Cognos, which was finalized last week. This week, IBM announced 10 new industry-specific packages, as well as some new products, integrating Cognos' middleware technology with IBM. An analysis published on Intelligent Enterprise notes that IBM's is essentially giving business mangers a complete BI package, in hopes of discouraging them from using Cognos' package on rival systems. Forrester offered a useful analysis on how this move impacts IBM -- hint: All good -- as well as other business intelligence and business performance vendors. For the best details on the industry packages, check out Network World's coverage.


Informatica Launces New Partner Program. Informatica is known these days as the last data integration pure player, but rumors of their pending demise are apparently greatly exaggerated. At any rate, Informatica's still alive and kicking, announcing this week a new program for business partners called INFORM. The program's goal is to make it easier for organizations to collaborate with Informatica on data interaction.


INFORM is supposed to help partner organizations -- such as Teradata -- integrate their offerings with Informatica's solutions. This isn't big news unless you're a partner, but if you're a customer of a partner or Informatica, it should eventually yield helpful results. Informatica clients and fans might also be interested in this recent Q&A with Informatica's CEO, Sohaib Abbasi, published this week on Intelligent Enterprise.

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