Oracle buys BEA

Oracle Corp. agreed yesterday to acquire BEA Systems Inc. for about $8.5 billion in cash. The purchase will allow Oracle to extend Oracle's Fusion middleware suite with the addition of BEA products and technology, such as the WebLogic application server and AquaLogic suite of Web services and middleware tools.

Oracle Fusion middleware has an open architecture that makes it possible to couple WebLogic to virtually all the components of the Fusion software suite, said John Slye, manager of federal industry analysis at Reston, Va.-based market research company Input Inc.

And AquaLogic will provide the tools for enabling Service Oriented Architectures, which may be handy for many government agencies.

Government agencies are under pressure to integrate systems, improve workflows and eliminate obsolete systems. That's the reason many states and federal agency are turning towards an SOA approach, said David O'Connell, senior analyst at Nucleus Research, Wellesley, Mass.

'Agencies need to also comply ' and prove that they are complying ' with the E-Government Act of 2002, which mandates that government agencies pursue opportunities to leverage information technology in order to do things like reduce costs and improve service levels,' O'Connell said. 'All of those things rely upon integration.'

For agencies already running Oracle applications it should be easy to integrate offerings from BEA. And the same should be true for BEA's existing customers.

'So if you're already running applications that were acquired by Oracle, then BEA is a little more accessible to you as a way to integrate those applications,' O'Connell said. 'Anytime integration becomes easier it's a good thing, and especially for government because they have lots of mandates to fix broken workflows.'

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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