ClearApp Snapped Up in Oracle’s Tools Push

Oracle continues efforts to create a suite of application management tools by buying up smaller software vendors, today announcing that it would purchase ClearApp, which makes software to manage applications in service-oriented architectures (SOA) .

Mountain View, Calif.-based ClearApp’s software automatically discovers what applications are running and what they link to, and monitors their performance.

With the purchase, Oracle seeks to capitalize on what it sees as a burgeoning, multibillion-dollar market for SOA management. In a presentation describing the deal, Oracle cited figures estimating the market at $2.5 billion in 2008 and setting its growth at 9.6 per cent a year.

The acquisition also marks the third application management software vendor that Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) has picked up in less than a year. In December, the software giant bought Dutch firm Moniforce, whose WebStress and WebProbe software enables users to monitor the performance and availability of their Web applications.

Earlier this year, Oracle bought a small, Indian firm called Auptyma. Since its purchase, Auptyma’s flagship Java Application Monitor has been renamed Oracle Application Diagnostics for Java and is now part of Oracle’s Fusion Middleware Management Packs.

Adding ClearApp to the mix “builds on [the] acquisitions of Moniforce and Auptyma, which have provided a core set of capabilities in the application management space,'” Oracle said in a presentation detailing the transaction. “ClearApp is the “only vendor with management capabilities for the Oracle SOA suite.”

Software from ClearApp, Moniforce and Auptyma will work with Oracle Enterprise Manager to better manage customers’ SOA investments, Leng Leng Tan, Oracle’s applications and systems management vice president, said in a letter to customers.

Oracle declined to discuss terms of the deal, which is scheduled for completion later this year, and would not provide additional comment beyond the presentation.

Management tools for the SOA environment is emerging as an area of particular importance, since bundling services together can be difficult, with the services needing to be rigorously managed.

SOA management is also an important market because of its multibillion-dollar size and its rate of growth. Not surprisingly, the database giant is certainly not alone in pursuing an SOA management strategy: Rivals in this area include IBM (NYSE: IBM).

Oracle first became a player in SOA management after buying BEA Systems for $8.5 billion in January. It announced the first product incorporating BEA technologies into its own, the Oracle WebLogic Server 10g R3, last month.

The WebLogic Server 10g R3 is the cornerstone of the Oracle WebLogic Suite. This suite will be Oracle’s foundation for enterprise applications and SOA.

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