Oracle offers to buy BEA

Yep, it appears that Oracle has made an hostile bid for BEA, the last major independent pure player in application servers.

It’s interesting because Oracle has had its own (mostly ignored) Oracle Application Server (OAS). I guess they were only able to sell it bundled with Oracle Database.

This move obviously turn Oracle even more against IBM. IBM has long been able to sell DB2 and WebSphere together.

Many companies do use WebSphere with Oracle DB, but there is no doubt that more money is to be made by bundling Weblogic and Oracle. For a typical case, my current (very, very large) client is using Oracle DB and Weblogic, meaning that each had to make separate efforts to sell their gears. There seems to be obvious synergies in selling them together.

Counter-intuitively (to me), SAP has expressed interest. They are even supposed to have started negotiating before Oracle.

Who else might be interested in BEA? Microsoft could also be a pain, but they would not be credible for long. Lastly, HP might also want to return to the Java limelight.

BEA has stated that they were not for sale, but no doubt that at best they will look weakened, and might have to look for a partner anyway. My bet is on Oracle.
This whole thing reminds me of a funny story. Back in 2002, there were rumors that BEA would acquire my employer. It was a really good story because of the timing: we were known for being the leaders in Java in France, we actively promoted Weblogic… and the day of the rumor was the first day of a BEA conference. Too bad I cannot find traces of this (minor) event anymore.

About Eric Lefevre-Ardant

Independent technical consultant.
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