IDG News Service, May 10, 2005 — IBM said today that it has acquired Gluecode Software Inc., a start-up developer of open-source infrastructure software. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
El Segundo, Calif.-based Gluecode built a Java application development platform called Joe out of open-source components from the Apache Software Foundation’s portfolio. The components include Apache’s portal technology, its Geronimo application server, its Derby database and its Agila BPM (business process management) engine. Some of those technologies — such as the Derby database, formerly known as Cloudscape — originated at IBM, which picked them up when it acquired Informix and then donated them to Apache.
IBM said it will continue developing Gluecode’s technology and become an active contributor to the Apache Geronimo open-source application server software project. It plans to push Gluecode as a low-cost alternative for companies not interested in IBM’s more expensive WebSphere middleware and application server software. Smaller customers can start out with Gluecode and eventually scale up to WebSphere, IBM suggested.
“If you look at what is happening and why did IBM acquire Gluecode, we see a market shift happening and we’re trying to capitalize on that market shift, and contribute to the energy and momentum here that we’re seeing the open source and the open community have here on the low end of the market for application servers,” said Robert LeBlanc, General Manager, Application and Integration Middleware, IBM Software Group, in a teleconference.
LeBlanc said the Gluecode acquisition helps to fill the low-end offerings of the WebSphere product line.
“We do very well with the high end of the market and we’re extending that WebSphere platform and the WebSphere reach down into the lower end of the market to really start to address requirements of developers, of department application developers, of small SMBs, small ISVs,” LeBlanc said. “And now we’re going to be able to extend support out to the enterprise so that customers can have a level of confidence that they can start with the Gluecode offering and, if they so choose, move up to the higher end offering that’s represented by the WebSphere product line that has a lot of capabilities for larger enterprises or adds capabilities for quality of service.”
IBM also plans to profit on selling support services around the Gluecode software.
Research firm Ovum Ltd. hailed the deal as a milestone in the industry’s move toward commoditized application server software.“IBM sends a clear message to competitors like BEA that it’s keen to see the application server market consolidate and to get the players competing on thebasis of higher-level services,” Ovum wrote in a research note.
Ovum also sees the deal as a win for IBM’s customers, who will be able to chose among IBM application server offerings at different price points.
Originally published in Computerworld