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Oracle to acquire application service management firm

Oracle will acquire ClearApp, a maker of composite application monitoring and management software, to round out its service-oriented architecture portfolio.

Oracle said today it will acquire

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He continued: "With the addition of ClearApp's technology to the Oracle Enterprise Manager product family, our customers are expected to get continuous and uninterrupted top-down views of their business services and applications, helping them maximize service availability while reducing IT operations costs."

Anne Thomas Manes, vice president and research director at Midvale, Utah-based Burton Group, said Oracle's SOA-related portfolio currently lacks services-monitoring capabilities, a hole the ClearApp acquisition could help to fill.

"[Oracle] has a lot of management technology that allows you to monitor the application server, and they've got some technology that allows you to monitor applications running within an application server, but they don't necessarily monitor message traffic that's going back and forth between services," Manes said. "There is an additional amount of management technology required to effectively manage an SOA-based environment."

How well Oracle integrates ClearApp's portfolio with its homegrown and other acquired technologies is the biggest question mark, according to Jason Bloomberg, managing partner at analyst firm ZapThink, based in Baltimore.

Oracle is well known for its growth-by-acquisition strategy, picking up no fewer than 40 companies in the last four years, including BEA in January and Hyperion in March 2007.

Among Oracle's acquisitions are some other IT management-related vendors, Bloomberg said, including end-user monitoring software maker Moniforce, which Oracle acquired last December.

"The question is: Can Oracle put all this together into a competitive offering [in order to compete with SOA heavyweights HP and IBM]?" he asked. The answer to that question, he said, won't be known for some time.

The ClearApp acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2008, pending regulator and shareholder approval. Until then, ClearApp, which was founded in 2002 and counts Cablevision and Novartis as recent customer wins, will continue to operate independently, according to the companies.

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