Progress buys XML toolmaker eXcelon

E-business technology provider Progress Software Corp. is purchasing XML (Extensible Markup Language) toolmaker eXcelon Corp. in a move that will allow the company to expand its e-business application integration products.

Progress said Monday that both companies' board of directors approved the US$24 million all-cash purchase, which is expected to close within 90 days, pending approval by eXcelon stockholders.

The buy is aimed at accelerating the product strategy forged by Progress subsidiary Sonic Software Corp., which launched a distributed, standards-based integration product dubbed SonicXQ earlier this year. SonicXQ has been called an "Enterprise Service Bus," which connects Web applications for e-businesses, allowing the applications to more easily communicate with each other, a Progress spokeswoman said.

With the purchase of eXcelon, Sonic Software will gain the company's Stylus Studio, eXtensible Information Server (XIS) and Business Process Manager (BPM) technologies, providing components that will expand SonicXQ's platform.

Stylus Studio is an integrated development environment designed to allow XML developers to create and test XSL (Extensible Stylesheet Language) stylesheets, as well as perform XML-to-XML mappings. BPM is an XML-based business document rules engine, whereas eXcelon's XIS is an XML database management system.

Sonic plans to integrate eXcelon's offerings into its own SonicXQ product line over the next six to 12 months, with initial product bundles scheduled for release in the first quarter of next year.

The integration of eXcelon's products will offer SonicXQ developers a richer toolset and improved XML performance, Sonic Software President Greg O'Conner said in a statement.

Progress and Sonic are both based in Bedford, Massachusetts, boasting customers in the financial services, telecommunications and energy industries. EXcelon, in Burlington, Massachusetts, claims over 4,000 customers in the same sectors.

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