Mercury Bulks Up Diagnostics with Performant

Mercury Interactive , which makes code diagnostic software for enterprise systems, has snapped up Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) code specialist company Performant in a $22.5 million cash deal.

The purchase could help Mercury bulk up in order to compete more effectively with fellow platform diagnostics player Rational Software, which was recently purchased by IBM .

The Bellevue, Wash.-based Performant specializes in technology that rapidly pinpoints performance problems at the application code level for enterprise systems, with particular expertise in J2EE.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Mercury is also in the midst of switching from a traditional licensing pricing model for customers, to one suited to “on-demand” or utility-style pricing on a subscription basis. In the meantime, the privately-held Performant’s revenues could help Mercury fill a gap in revenues as some customers buy software services in a more piecemeal fashion.

Mercury said the Performant acquisition would help its customers diagnose J2EE performance issues across the application delivery and management cycle from testing through deployment to operations.

As part of the merger agreement, which closed last week, Mercury also said it would assume Performant’s unvested employee stock options.

The two companies have worked together for close to two years, so the merger made sense, Zohar Gilad, vice president of products at Mercury, said in a statement.

“Performant has been a key partner to Mercury Interactive,” he said. “In the past 18 months we have optimized the performance levels of J2EE applications 400 to 1000 percent with our joint offerings.”

Mercury said it would retain the former Performant technology staff in Bellevue and also establish a joint center for in-depth diagnostics, where performance diagnostic products and services of both companies will be integrated. One example of the marriage of products includes Mercury’s Optane suite of products, which help companies identify which part of a business process is causing a performance problem, detect the code problems and suggest ways to fix the issues.

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