• August 24, 2006
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

BEA Systems Makes Hot SOA Moves

Enterprise infrastructure software firm BEA Systems on Wednesday acquired Flashline, an enterprise metadata repository. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Flashline, which will be renamed BEA AquaLogic Enterprise Repository, enables tracking, evaluation, and management of data assets across multiple projects, which is an important aspect of SOA platforms. "The enterprise metadata repository capabilities of Flashline, together with BEA AquaLogic Service Registry (ALSR), provide BEA customers with a complete metadata management solution," said Rob Levy, BEA's executive vice president and CTO, in a written statement. "Together, both products provide customers with the capability for managing and governing the full SOA lifecycle." Miko Matsumura, vice president of technology standards for SOA developer Infravio, says that the acquisition is a good start, although some work is needed to integrate BEA's registry technology with Flashline's repository. "But the technical problems in service life-cycle governance are relatively easy problems of approval workflow, technical federation and synchronization. The bigger problem is SOA policy life-cycle governance." Also on Wednesday, BEA announced it was expanding its partnership with Indian consultancy Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for SOA development based on BEA AquaLogic and WebLogic platforms. Tata will use BEA products to develop working solutions, and the two companies will team up for joint consulting assignments to accelerate SOA adoption and deployment. "BEA Systems and TCS have a successful history of working together to deliver solutions for the financial services industry, and are working to bring new SOA solutions to market," said Alfred Chuang, BEA's chairman and CEO, in another written statement. "TCS considers SOA to be a growth engine for the future. We have a strong presence in this area and are currently engaged with global customers on consulting and application development engagements," said S. Ramadorai, CEO and managing director of TCS, in a joint statement with BEA. "We see a tremendous opportunity in meeting customer needs with a joint go to market strategy with BEA in this space." Matsumura says the two announcements can be taken together to predict BEA's overall strategy. "IBM had previously announced plans to do something in the area of combined registry and repository, and [the Flashline acquisition and Tata partnership] are a way to effectively compete with IBM, creating a leapfrog effect." Earlier acquisitions of Fuego and Plumtree Solutions give BEA an even larger toolbox. Whether this toolbox will be sufficient to stave off competition from the likes of IBM remains to be seen. "On a component by component basis, most would acknowledge that BEA has the lead over IBM," Matsumura says. "But those products haven't been integrated yet." Related articles: Wet Woos Fire: BEA Systems Acquires Fuego
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