Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Yawn. Um. Oh yeah .. Progress bought Iona

Iona had revenue of nearly $78m last year. Yesterday they were sold for $106m net cash. Wow. WOW. If that's not a fire sale I don't know what is! I guess SoftwareAG publicly dissing Iona really hurt.

Iona has of course been dabbling with open source for a while - starting with Celtix which they took to ObjectWeb and then Apache CXF (marrying (the by then failed) Celtix with XFire) and of course then went on to buy the assets of LogicBlaze. They also bought C24 somewhere along the line and ended up with four ESBs. Customer choice eh?

Now Progress has got what Sonic claims is the mother of all ESBs (SonicESB) and all of Iona's ESBs and of course have two JMS engines too - SonicMQ and ActiveMQ. [To be fair, ActiveMQ is an Apache project, so they don't "own" it in any way .. they just have the lead contributors to that project as their employees.]

Damn, customer choice again .. except just more. Much more :-).

Market consolidation is a good thing .. so hopefully this'll mean that they'll get their act together and have a more cohesive story for their SOA platform and achieve technology consolidation too; I'm sure their customers would really appreciate that. In the mean time, I can recommend the WSO2 products to people looking for clean and simple SOA technology. Yeah, I'm kinda biased ;-).

What will this do the open source projects that Iona used to contribute heavily to in Apache (Apache CXF, Apache ServiceMix, Apache ActiveMQ etc.)? Well, even if Progress decides to defy progress and not go open source (which is my expectation), that's where the beauty of Apache comes in - the maniacal focus on community diversity will mean that even if Progress decides to cut of their own participation in these projects, the projects will live on. Plus, the actual individuals who contribute to Apache projects build their own personal brand around those projects - that will not go away because their employer changes their mind (we have a bunch of people who've left WSO2 to go to grad school and they all continue to contribute to the projects). Plus such great people always have other places they can work at. Hint hint.

No comments: