Oracle is getting quite used to the acquisition environment that analysts predicted could dominate the tech business in 2005.
In recent months the database management systems giant has closed deals with PeopleSoft, retail applications vendor Retek, and just this week the company announced the purchase of Cupertino, Calif.-based Oblix Inc.
Oblix is a privately held 100-employee computer security company that specializes in identity management systems that guard access to computer programs, enterprise networks and Web sites.
The acquisition didn't generate nearly as much buzz as the $10 billion takeover of PeopleSoft and the much-publicized bidding war with rival SAP AG for Retek. But Oblix is key to Oracle's goal of bridging the gap between its database and business applications offerings.
Thomas Kurian, Oracle's senior vice president of development, said Oblix's technology complements access management software already built into its Oracle Application Server program.
With the addition of Oblix, Oracle plans to offer a "heterogeneous identification management" system that covers directory infrastructure, access management, ID administration, provisioning and compliance on all platforms, including .NET.
"Now from Oracle you get Web management and ID management in the box," Kurian said. "This will allow us to offer an end-to-end ID management option from the database through the middleware applications."
Oblix also brings to the table Web services management capabilities that can function with existing Oracle applications, legacy systems or even home-built custom applications, Kurian said, using the Oblix COREsv Web management product.
COREsv allows administrators to establish security policies and then enforce them across a set of Web services.
Charles King, principal analyst with Hayward, Calif.-based Pund-IT Research, said the move by Oracle to acquire Oblix is a sign of the times.
"This seems to be one of those 'cheaper to buy than to build' deals,' though it also points to the importance of identity management in delivering integrated management and security solutions," he said.
King said the move would also bolster Oracle's claim that it now has an integrated platform for Project Fusion, which promises to combine the best parts of PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards and Oracle business applications.
Oracle did not disclose the financial details surrounding the Oblix acquisition, but 100% of the developer and sales force for the company would become Oracle employees, according to Kurian.