Friday, June 27, 2008

Progress Software continues SOA buying spree with Mindreef acquisiton

Progress Software has followed its acquisition of IONA Technologies earlier this week with another acquisition, this time picking up privately held Mindreef, Inc., the Hollis., NH maker of the SOAPscope product family.

SOAPscope's quality and validation tools should dovetail with Progress' quality of service (QoS) emphasis quite well. Can't poke around for overlaps or redundancies on this one. Seems a clear addition to the burgeoning Progress solution set.

Included in the SOAPscope family are SOAPscope Server, SOAPscope Architect, and SOAPscope Developer, all of which will join the Progress Actional SOA Management product family. This combination of Actional and Mindreef service-oriented architecture (SOA) governance products provides visibility, control, and validation both across the entire lifecycle of an SOA initiative and at each stage of a SOA deployment, say the companies.

Financial details of the acquisition were not announced. In fact, as of this writing, the Progress Web site is silent on the acquisition, while the Mindreef site has been updated with its status as a unit of Progress and a FAQ for customers.

According to the FAQ, full details of the acquisition strategy will be announced in mid-July, when Progress, of Bedford, Mass., hosts a webinar for all Mindreef customers. What we do know, however, is that the current Mindreef products will keep their own names, at least for the time being, while Mindreef will adopt the Progress company name.

The FAQ also addresses the question of how the Mindreef acquisition fits in with the Progress strategy:

In January 2008, Progress introduced the concept of real-world SOA, which embodies three key challenges: distribution, quality of service (QoS) and heterogeneity. Mindreef’s core competency in quality and validation tools directly aligns with QoS, where QoS helps organizations strive for a SOA that is fast, reliable, scalable and secure, and thus strengthens our overall go-to-market strategy moving into 2009.

Earlier this week, as I reported on Wednesday, Progress bought IONA Technologies for a little over $100 million, which broadened Progress' position in the SOA marketplace.

Last August, I had a podcast discussion with Colleen Smith, managing director of Software as a Service for Progress, in which we discussed the company's acquisition strategies, among other things.

I took my first briefing with Mindreef, given their neighborly proximity, about three years ago. The seasoned team had a hit on their hands with SOAPscope, and their timing in the SOA market was great. But I'm not sure the company grew as was hoped, and perhaps the fast evolution of SOA beyond a WS-* emphasis played a role. SOAP hasn't blossomed to quite the degree some people had forecast.

In any event, I expect this was a happy transition.

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