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SOA Consolidation Continues

Last week saw further consolidation in the SOA marketplace, as IBM Corp. announced that it had acquired DataPower Technology, removing from the field one of the last independent startups in XML acceleration, since Intel acquired Savega last summer.
Last week saw further consolidation in the SOA marketplace, as IBM Corp. announced that it had acquired DataPower Technology, removing from the field one of the last independent startups in XML acceleration, since Intel acquired Savega last summer.Just three years ago, the acceleration of XML operations was foreseen as a business requiring its own breed of network processing, giving rise to such startups as DataPower and Sarvega. But the continued use of legacy messaging and publish-subscribe protocols caused the XML acceleration services of giants like Cisco Systems Inc.'s so-called Application-Oriented Networking to be reoriented to a wider array of application-layer acceleration. What does this mean that smaller, best-of-breed players are being swallowed by more established vendors? Simply that the market is maturing as predicted. Analysts have been saying for some time that the smaller Web services and SOA vendors would either be snapped up by more established vendors or disappear from the scene.

As another example of this, BEA this week closed on its acquisition of Plumtree Software. It's an interesting move. As CRN's Rochelle Garner asked back in August when the deal was announced, why would BEA Systems shell out $200 million in cash for a portal pure-play when it has its own top-selling portal software? Because Plumtree Software offers a portfolio of .Net-compliant software that perfectly complements BEA's J2EE-compliant products. And that .Net/J2EE synergy is something that BEA needs to deliver a full spectrum of functionality to its customers.

SOA Pipeline's recent poll on whether companies were going with specialized best-of-breed vendors or were waiting for larger companies to solidify their strategies showed a fairly even split: 52 percent of respondents said they were going with smaller best-of-breed companies, while 48 percent of respondents said they were waiting for larger vendors to get their act together. With the news this week of the DataPower and Plumtree acquisitions, they won't have long to wait.