Another SOA-inspired consolidation: Software AG buys WebMethods

Software AG's acquisition of WebMethods reflects growing appetite for enterprise SOA

Software AG just announced it is acquiring SOA and integration vendor WebMethods, and ZDNet blogging colleague Dana Gardner is on top of it with this perspective, posted here.

The purchase price was $546 million. Within that acquisition, of course, comes Infravio, the SOA registry provider, which WebMethods bought last September for $30 million.  

I've often said that legacy systems are a vast, great, untamed frontier for SOA, and this acquisition may be part of the land rush (or gold rush) to stake more claims in this space. Software AG's offerings include tools for the Web and SOA-enablement of mainframe and legacy systems. WebMethods has also focused on the legacy integration space, so it seems natural that these two should join forces.

Dana observes that this is part of a continuing trend toward industry consolidation. "Bigger is better in terms of SOA solutions provider survival, regardless of the chatter about the virtues of best-of-breed product approaches." Plus, it appears that the bigger infrastructure players continue to actively seek the best-of-breed providers that are offering solid SOA solutions.

Dana also makes another interesting statement -- that not only is SOA governance and management of SOA becoming "the tail that wags the dog of general IT management," but "perhaps even the way businesses are managed, controlled and directed in total."

This suggests a hefty enterprise role for SOA, as well as the governance tools that can make SOA happen.