Oracle-BEA drama rocks middleware sector

A combined BEA and Oracle, by revenue, will be roughly equal to rival IBM minus its mainframe software

Dempsey has observed the clear absence of pure platform shops among customers, concluding that with the increase in data, business process management and increased interaction among stakeholders, "there will always be a requirement for middleware that can span those boundaries and deal with the logical, reliable flow of data, of documents and of business process transaction over all that heterogeneous technology."

Besides the opportunity for innovation among independent entities, Canadian firms prefer middleware point products over consolidated suites, seeking good value and service at a reasonable cost, said Senf.

Although, he added, larger vendors are in a better position to demonstrate how a string of point products unfolds into a long-term roadmap.

Among the drivers behind the acquisition, Oracle aims to move outside of its installed base and expand its portfolio of high-end middleware and business process management for better cross-sell opportunity, said Senf -- however, customers should ask why the company is seeking BEA while it "extols the virtues" of its Fusion Middleware product.

But as it's still too early in the game to know who will ultimately own BEA, customers who had preferred BEA in lieu of Oracle needn't be too concerned, said Wang. "It's too early for customers to get worried yet because they don't know who the owner is and a lot of it will depend on who wins the deal."

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