IBM today acquired El Segundo, Calif.-based Gluecode Software Inc., which specializes in software and support services based on the Apache Geronimo open source development platform.
Gluecode's JOE software, an open source stack which includes the Apache Geronimo application server, messaging software and a portal framework, will help expand IBM's suite of WebSphere application integration products.
"We see a market shift happening," said Robert LeBlanc, general manager of application and integration middleware at the IBM Software Group. "Our customers want a low end offering and this acquisition helps fill the low end area of the WebSphere platform."
The Gluecode acquisition will enable IBM customers and business partners to develop and deploy applications using open source technology, and migrate to WebSphere software as [their] business needs expand, LeBlanc said.
IBM will provide Gluecode software for free download, development and deployment and will offer an annual paid subscription model for software support services. Additionally, Gluecode's existing support services will be integrated into IBM's Software Group.
Gluecode CEO Chet Kapoor will lead a new business unit of the WebSphere platform, which will target Small and Medium-sized Businesses and IBM's smaller Independent Software Vendor partners.
"We saw customers continue to ask for a subscription-based model around open source software," Kapoor said. "IBM has done it successfully with Linux and we hope it will be successful in the J2EE [Java 2 Enterprise Edition] space."
In a related announcement, IBM will also contribute plug-ins to the Eclipse open source community for developing, debugging and deploying Apache Geronimo-based applications.
LeBlanc said that this was IBM's first pure acquisition of an open source company, but added that Big Blue has already been working with the open source community for a number of years through the Eclipse project and the Apache Software Foundation.
"We just saw this (acquisition) as a natural extension," LeBlanc said.
IBM declined to disclose the amount of the acquisition.