With the news of mergers happening here and there round the globe the developer community is not far from getting affected. The latest news of Oracle and BEA acquisition is bound to leave developers amidst some sort of uncertainty as to why has this taken place at all and what effects will it have on them.

Oracle acquires BEA

BEA is known for its well diversified technology stack of Weblogic Java Application Servers, SOA products and the Aqualogic suite of ESB and BPM products. Also to mention that BEA holds a strong integration of all the above suites into its Weblogic Workshop which has been built around the Eclipse platform.

Oracle on the other hand too has an array of similar products including Appservers, ESB, SOA and BPM. Then the question arises as to why Oracle is acquiring BEA? Some insights to the things apart from the product suites clash should be taken in consideration here to understand Oracle’s point of view.

Oracle entered into an acquisition with BEA Systems after it offered $19.375/share which is nearly a 40% premium over the October 2007 price when Oracle had done its first bid. This can be seen as a state of urgency on the part of Oracle to acquire BEA. Some speculation can be allotted on to the latest SOA offerings of BEA which could have made Oracle think for a big upgradation in their services.

Thinking other ways, Oracle might just be preparing for a tussle with the other giants such as IBM and SAP for gaining the market share in providing SOA infrastructure. With the BEA acquisition, Oracle will be in ready position to flash a list of clientele from BEA’s portfolio to match with the competitors. With the future plans of BEA for SOA, Oracle’s merger plans must have been really thought out.

It might be also a case of killing the competition. Big players often tend to downsize the smaller fish by making them surrender. This can be a case with Oracle too. Having a chance to get the customer base from BEA, it can simply kill off the competition by either junking off all BEA products off the line or by carefully integrating BEA products with its middleware and offering separate flagship services, just as it has done after acquiring PeopleSoft and JDEdwards.

Organizations today are keen to have a single suite of products to manage their businesses and middleware competition is on the rise. This probably makes Oracle’s target to claim for a one vendor many solutions more justified. But for the developers its more than a platform choice because now it would be choosing between their career paths too. I also have worked on Weblogic App server with Oracle database as the backend. With this acquisition, developers like me will have to decide on which path to opt for.

If Oracle junks off BEA products for killing the competition it might give rise for fear within the Weblogic community. Hopefully, if Oracle makes a decision of providing a flagship line of BEA products, the developer community will be more than happy to flash the name of Oracle on their resumes. This will be clear only in the mid of 2008 when the acquisition will be completed. The major question now lies as to what would a Java EE developer do in such a situation?


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