Blue Titan Software, Inc. today became the San Francisco branch of Los Angeles-based SOA Software Inc., in an acquisition announced today which creates a major player in the SOA infrastructure market.
"SOA Software has really turned the corner, and is on track to become the first $100 million vendor with a SOA-specific offering," said Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst with ZapThink, LLC.
The terms of the deal between the two privately held companies will not be disclosed, said Roberto Medrano, executive vice president of SOA Software, but he termed the acquisition "lucrative" for the Blue Titan stakeholders. Asked when the sale would be finalized, he said, "Immediately, Blue Titan becomes SOA Software."
What SOA Software is gaining besides offices in San Francisco and additional customers is Blue Titan's Web services mediation technology, which will fill out the company's SOA product line, previously boasting management, security and governance.
SOA Software will now be in a position to offer a platform for what Ian Goldsmith, vice president of product marketing, called a "federated ESB ecosystem." In SOA implementations involving products from vendors with different enterprise service buses, SOA Software will provide "a common infrastructure platform for management, security, governance and mediation."
The addition of Blue Titan's mediation technology, which is currently part of its Network Director product, propels SOA Software into the big leagues of infrastructure vendors, said ZapThink's Bloomberg.
"SOA Software was already strong in the areas of security, management and runtime governance, while Blue Titan brings enterprise-class mediation to the fold," the analyst said. "The combination is a powerful platform-neutral SOA infrastructure play."
Both Bloomberg and Goldsmith agree that mediation is important because customers tend to have multiple ESBs, which don't always play well together even when they adhere to the same Web services standards.
"ESB is an interesting concept," Goldsmith said. "Every organization is going to have more than one ESB. An ESB is something that will come with any platform you buy, providing integration services to that platform." IBM, BEA, Oracle and SAP all come into the customer's IT infrastructure with different ESBs, he said.
That is where infrastructure platform neutrality comes in, said Bloomberg. "The platform neutrality is an important factor here," he said, "because companies are finding that when they take the platform/ESB approach to SOA infrastructure, they still need a way to handle mediation among various platforms and integration technologies -- middleware for their middleware, if you will. The only way out of this Catch-22 is to implement a scalable, enterprise class mediation/management/security solution along with whatever ESBs or other integration infrastructure is already in place. That's just what SOA Software has put together."
Even where vendors are adhering to a standard such as WS-Reliable Messaging, the implementations different and need mediation, said Goldsmith.
"For example," he said, "Microsoft has its own flavor of Reliable Messaging, which is different from WebSphere's version of Reliable Messaging. So if you want to send a message from a Microsoft consumer to a WebSphere Web service, you need something that can ensure that WebSphere can tolerate messages coming from Microsoft, which is really what the mediation layer is. It's essentially a transformation/mapping service that ensures that inbound messages in one standard map to a provider using another standard."
Working on the federated ESB ecosystem for SOA Software will be Frank Martinez, founder and now former chief executive officer of Blue Titan, who will continue to work for the acquiring company.
"I'll be leading the product strategy for the entire portfolio for the combined companies," he said.
He too has been seeing an increasing number of customers with stuck in the Catch-22 Bloomberg described, but he said the problem is getting clearer.
"There's starting to be some clarity in moving from an instance of an ESB being the focus of the conversation to this notion of a cooperating ecosystem of infrastructure services that provide common capabilities," Martinez said.
While the Blue Titan name seems unlikely to survive today's announcement, Goldsmith said that in the immediate future its Network Director product will move forward as scheduled.
"We'll continue to implement the roadmap for the Network Director product," he said. "Over time you can expect to see an SOA Software roadmap that delivers products that incorporate the strengths of our technology and Blue Titan's technology in one product line or likely through the addition of new products to our product suite."