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InfoQ Homepage News Progress Software Acquires IONA and Mindreef

Progress Software Acquires IONA and Mindreef

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In the last two weeks, Progress software acquired two companies: IONA Technologies and Mindreef, in an effort to augment their SOA Portfolio. The portfolio consists of products in the following categories: enterprise service bus (Sonic ESB), enterprise messaging (Sonic MQ), data interoperability (DataXtend), Mainframe integration (Shadow), Complex Event Processing (Apama)  and SOA management (Actional). IONA, an industry leader in CORBA integration technology, sells the Artix SOA infrastructure product suite consisting of an ESB, SOA Registry, orchestration engine, mainframe integration and metadata management. It also offers open source SOA integration components through its FUSE product line. Mindreef is the maker of SOAPscope, a popular SOAP quality, testing, and diagnostic suite.

Bulter Group Analyst Rob Hailstone analyzed the acquisition:

It is a modular set of products, permitting users to take just those pieces needed for the immediate project and to expand the capabilities later. This is a good fit with the Progress approach of not trying to force a single vendor solution onto its clients.

Rob points out that "There are also some partnership implications" because of the different partnerships the two companies currently have, however he feels that

In the current phase of SOA market-building there is expected to be a continuation of the trend for major vendors to build out their portfolios, and user bases, through targeted acquisitions. This acquisition will help Progress to keep pace with the market-share leaders, but it will require strong post-acquisition management to ensure the potential is realized.

Industry reaction to these acquisitions have been mixed.

Sanjiva Weerawarana Chairman and CEO and Paul Fremantle co-founder and Vice president of Technology of WSO2 both wonder how this acquisition is going to play out for the Fuse product line. Paul Fremantle says that

"Now Progress has to somehow deal with the ESB capabilities of Sonic, Artix, ServiceMix and C24. Its going to be interesting to see how they position four ESB's to customers. Or is it five? Or maybe six? Sorry I forgot that James Strachan often says people consider ActiveMQ an ESB. That would make seven!"

but Sanjiva Weerawarana acknowledges that "Market consolidation is a good thing .. [and Progressive will have to]  get their act together and have a more cohesive story for their SOA platform and achieve technology consolidation too; I'm sure their customers would really appreciate that."

Eric Newcomer the CTO of IONA is very bullish on the future involvement of IONA's existing open source investments. He says

One of the more interesting aspects is the future of the FUSE product line and the view of the combined company toward the open source projects with which we've been involved. ... As one of the folks who championed getting involved in open source I am glad to say the Progress folks I've spoken with are very interested and enthusiastic supporters

As for the Mindreef acquisition, Progress will add SOAPscope to the Actional product line, its SOA governance family. This really is the market-building consolidation that Rob Hailstone writes about.

William Vambenepe an architect for the application and middleware management part of Oracle’s Enterprise Manager division says that "[the Mindreef acquisition]is yet another confirmation of the fact that testing and IT management are getting ever closer together".

Dan Foody VP of Actional Products at Progress Software says "By bringing together Mindreef and Actional we're doing what's only natural - removing the artificial dividing line between design time and runtime, addressing the complete SOA lifecycle with technologies that are leaders in both."

It remains to be seen how effectively Progress software can leverage these acquisitions and the kind of message it puts out to its customers.

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