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XAwareSAPSalesforcecomSaaSOracleOpen Source Business ModelsData IntegrationBEA 8 Feb 2008 9:05 AM
Applications Integrate Integration by billm

SaaS HR and Financial applications provider WorkDay announced last week that it is acquiring web services-based integration middleware vendor Cape Clear Software . Analyst The 451 Group 's coverage of this announcement (subscribers can access it here ) draws some interesting conclusions; some that seem right to me and some that seem way wrong.

Here is some of what they had to say:

The move reflects a recent intensifying of an ongoing trend among enterprise apps vendors to also be significant middleware providers. Take Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) with its Fusion and SAP (NYSE: SAP) with its NetWeaver products and then add in the effect of Oracle's aggressive move to acquire BEA Systems (Nasdaq: BEAS).

Executives of both companies pointed to Oracle's recent acquisition of BEA Systems as evidence that the days of stand-alone middleware companies are over, as applications vendors seek to have their own middleware technologies. Workday sees integration of its hosted applications, with other hosted and on-premise applications as well as consumer websites ..., as a strategic opportunity and wants to position its hosted software as the easiest to integrate with.

At the enterprise level, application integration has often been left as a burdensome issue for either customers or systems integrators to resolve. More and more users are looking to the apps providers to deal with that time-consuming chore, particularly as integration becomes even more complex in an on-demand world where integrations occur across firewalls and domains.

I agree with part of this. It is crtically important for applications providers to make it easier for users to integrate with other applications and data. This has been a burdensome and expensive issue for customers; and a great source of demand for systems integrators.

I don't agree with 451's assertion that "the days of stand-alone middleware companies are over". While applications behemoths like Oracle and SAP may want to have their own middleware, there are thousands for specialized buisness applications providers, using both traditional and SasS delivery models. These companies need to provide "integrated integration", but would rather bundle capability provided and supported from standalone middleware company - provided the economics of such an OEM relationship make sense.

We see increasing demand for XAware open source integration software bundled with specialized business applications to provide easier, standards-based integration for users. For example, we see increasing need for many specialized applications to integrate with SaaS CRM. We just added a special adapter and specialized designer features in XAware 5 to make it much easier to integrate applications with CRM data accessible through web services provided by

XAware provides integration with a business model that makes sense for specialized applications providers that would prefer to OEM integration - open source, standards-based, fully featured, supported, and commercial license available. Based on the interest we see from specialized applications providers in using XAware to provide easy integration, the days of stand-alone providers of economical open source integration middleware are just begining.



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