Oracle Goes SOA with Collaxa Buy


Oracle has crafted a service-oriented architecture (SOA)
based on its recent acquisition of hometown start-up Collaxa, which makes
business process management (BPM) software.


The company did not reveal a purchase price for
Collaxa, whose BPM platform helps companies coordinate the
glut of processes and technologies in their software stacks. The purchase
had been rumored for weeks, only to be denied by the company until a press
statement Tuesday.


The company did say it has made the flagship Collaxa BPEL Server a driving
component of its SOA software, which, like others of its kind, will be used as
a distributed computing platform to coordinate Web services
. These allow applications to communicate with one
another and automate business processes.


Bridging the gap between business processes, Web services and SOAs is
important at a time when companies are relying on fluid, distributed
computing environments filled with disparate applications, because it makes
transactions and other tasks flow better.


Oracle said it hopes its newly created BPEL (Business Process Execution
Language) Process Manager, from the Collaxa BPEL Server, will make it easier
for organizations to adapt to changing business needs on the fly, a
cornerstone of SOAs and Web services. The product includes a BPM engine, a
management console and a graphical interface for writing software.


Collaxa’s technology is modeled on the Business Process Execution Level
(BPEL) specification, which is a
template for reducing the cost and complexity of integration projects.
It is backed by Microsoft ,
IBM , SAP and BEA Systems.


Along with the BPEL Process Manager, Oracle will leverage the Web services,
BPM and other capabilities in its Application Server 10g to help companies
reduce the cost of integrating business applications.


Oracle BPEL Process Manager is immediately available for free download and
evaluation from Oracle Technology Network. For commercial use, it can be
purchased as an add-on option to Application Server 10g Enterprise Edition
for $10,000, or as a standalone product for $30,000.


Ronald Schmelzer, senior analyst of SOA and Web services research outfit
ZapThink, said Oracle’s maneuver is a positive step for a company that had a
gaping SOA value proposition, having
offered
only an SOA developer kit earlier this year. IBM, HP ,
Computer Associates and smaller vendors already sell SOA
software products and/or services.


“This is a major deal for Oracle, because it bumps Oracle from an
SOA-by-lip-service company to an SOA-in-reality company,” Schmelzer told
internetnews.com. “Collaxa has been delivering on real
implementations of process-driven SOA for a few years, so there’s no doubt
that the addition of this product will add real SOA capabilities to the
Oracle line.”


However, Schmelzer said it’s not yet clear how Collaxa technology will fit
in with the rest of Oracle’s product lines, noting that the enterprise
resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management
(CRM) application lines “could seriously benefit from an SOA
re-architecture.


“But there’s no evidence that shows that they will be applying Collaxa in
that way,” he continued. “Right now, I think they’re still looking to plug
holes in their SOA offering. We’ll have to see if it really achieves that
goal.”

An Oracle spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

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