Think Liquidate: Oracle dismantling BEA's AquaLogic business?

AquaLogic line may be split between SOA and BPM
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

Whenever a vendor is swallowed by another vendor, it's inevitable that certain product lines are dispersed or disappear altogether. That may now be the case with BEA Systems, which was acquired at the beginning of the year by Oracle for a cool $8.5 billion.

In fact, Oracle seems to be wasting no time reshuffling the BEA deck. The Register's Gavin Clarke reports that Oracle is "merging the BEA's AquaLogic and WebLogic professional service teams, and also plans to split the AquaLogic products between 'Web products' - user interaction, collaboration and the Web 2.0 suite - and AquaLogic business process management (BPM)."

[UPDATE June 6... Oracle just sent out an announcement that it will be holding a Webcast on July 1st, in which Oracle President  Charles Phillips  and Oracle Senior Vice President  Thomas Kurian will "explore how the addition of BEA products to Oracle Fusion Middleware creates a best-in-class combination."]

AquaLogic is BEA's SOA offering, which included goodies such as a BPM suite, registry/repository, and enterprise service bus.

The Register also reported that Oracle made many cuts in BEA management ranks, but few in professional staff. However, as we've seen in many acquisition scenarios, there tends to be a flight of professionals -- we'll see how things pan out with Oracle. Reportedly, the Big O is giving AquaLogic staffers the choice of working with the Web suite or the BPM product line.

Bruce Silver just published some observations about Oracle's approach to BPM in light of the BEA acqusition, by the way. He looked at both Oracle's and BEA's approaches to BPM -- which differ -- and thinks Oracle will pursue a dual strategy with its ARIS (OEMed from IDS Sheer) and SOA Suite combo, as well as AquaLogic BPM:

"Oracle follows the BPEL paradigm in which the process does not actually perform activities itself but instead invokes services that perform the activities, and those services are defined outside of BPM, e.g. coded in Java and exposed as services in the SOA registry/repository.... AquaLogic BPM follows the more normal BPM pattern in which activity implementations are defined and used within the BPM environment itself. If services are created in SOA and exposed in the registry/repository, ALBPM can bind to those, but it's not the only way to do it. In a SOA-based production environment, both BPMSs get you to the same place, but it's easier to do rapid iterative BPM development and deployment the ALBPM way."

Bruce thinks Oracle will likely "keep both threads alive until things sort out, using ALBPM on top of Fusion as the straight BPMS offering, and the current ARIS+SOA Suite to support the apps business."

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