Oracle on Tuesday stepped up its service-oriented architecture efforts the easiest way possible. It bought the underlying technology, the product and company operations of business process management pure-play Collaxa.
Terms of the acquisition for the privately held BPM vendor were not disclosed. Both companies are based in Redwood Shores, Calif.
As of Tuesday, Collaxa's BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) Server will be sold as Oracle's BPEL Process Manager. The software is available as a $10,000 option per CPU for Oracle Application Server 10g or as a $30,000 per-CPU stand-alone.
Collaxa, and now Oracle, claim the BPM server is the only native BPEL production engine available. Both BEA Systems and SAP have unveiled plans to support native BPEL in their integration software. That "native" adjective is important because it enables processes written and monitored on Oracle BPEL Process Manager to run on any J2EE-compliant application server.
It's become the norm for application platform vendors to add BPM to their server stack as a way to craft the integration of loosely coupled applications. Most pure-play BPM vendors"such as Collaxa, Lombardi Software, Ultimus, Chordiant and HandySoft"push their BPM capabilities further than what's typically found within the application server or integration server stack. Large enterprises tend to look to these pure-plays to create, manage and orchestrate complex, high-volume processes that include people, documents and exception handling.
"There's a higher level of business process management and monitoring with Collaxa than with typical BPM," said Rob Cheng, product marketing director of Oracle Application Server and Tools. "This was a real opportunity to bring BPM into the data center of enterprise customers."
Oracle also on Tuesday took the occasion to tout research firm IDC's latest figures on the application server platform market. According to IDC, Oracle achieved 19.4 percent market share in 2003, representing 15 percent year-over-year growth. In contrast, BEA lost 4.3 percent share, to 26.3 percent of the market. "We think BEA is looking particularly vulnerable, having a lot of trouble branching out into portal and integration markets," said Cheng. "We consider them a target."
On Wednesday Oracle will announce that the next version of Oracle JDeveloper 10g, Oracle's developer environment for Java and Web services, will support Mac OS X. "This will be first time Oracle will make its tools available for Mac OS X," Cheng said. "This is because we are seeing an increased popularity for Mac OS X among developers." That version will be available in September.