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Market Research Digest - 30th April 2003

Welcome back from an extended Easter break (well, mine was), to a busy couple of weeks for news. Several EAI vendors report, including Ascential, Informatica, Iona, Mercator, SeeBeyond and webMethods report Q1 results - with mixed fortunes. Read on!

Ascential Q1 results - revenues and income recover

First quarter 2003 revenue was $35.3 million, up 70 percent from $20.8 million in the first quarter of last year. License revenue was $19.2 million in the first quarter of 2003, up 78% over $10.8 million in license revenue reported in the first quarter of 2002. Net loss on a Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) basis was $0.5 million, or $0.00 per share, for the first quarter, compared to a net loss of $16.5 million, or $0.06 per share, in the first quarter of 2002. Ascential claims 119 repeat sales and 55 new customers. Ascential predicts flat revenues next quarter, but 20-25% growth for 2003 as a whole. See announcement.

Well up on a year ago, the revenue numbers are also slightly up on Q4; the loss has been well controlled, down from over $10m in December.

BEA vulnerable, says Forbes

BEA's $84 million in earnings for the fiscal year ended in January has levitated the stock from its $5 low in October. (It peaked three years ago at $86.) But for the first time since its 1995 founding BEA saw revenue drop last year, by 4% to $934 million. Net cash from operations fell 14% to $194 million from $225 million. Licensing of its software to others dipped a worrisome 14%. Under cofounder Alfred Chuang, the chief executive, the company has beefed up maintenance contracts, which rose 28% last year. Trouble is, 90% of the maintenance customer base are renewers, but with sales flat it will be hard to squeeze growth from these contracts.

See Forbes.

BEA Liquid Data for WebLogic Dramatically Reduces Development Costs with Real-Time Data Access

See Press Release.

Data Warehouse goes real time

Walmart -- which already refreshes the 300 terabytes (TB) of data it holds in its warehouse every 10 minutes -- is currently discussing with its warehouse technology supplier NCR Teradata how to cut that refresh down to two minutes. Meanwhile Dell - whose CIO Randy Mott was formerly at Walmart - is looking to update its data hourly rather than 3 or 4 times per day.

See Infoconomy.

These kind of changes should put real pressure onto ETL vendors to adopt real time techniques like messaging and caching.

Analyst, users differ on value of network management

Upstart network-management software vendor Fidelia is trying to earn a name for itself as an innovator in the network management field by tying network operations to specific business processes. An analyst says Fidelia's NetVigil provides a whole new way to look at the network, but users believe it's a leap that many may not be ready to take.

See SearchNetworking.

Although some people want to relate low level network problems to high level applications and business processes, the complexity of doing so puts many off. It's easier to manage the symptoms, perhaps.

Experts chart future for Grid Computing

According to a leading expert on grid computing, widespread adoption of the concept may be right around the corner. Already some companies are looking inside to see if they can create new services and drive enterprise applications using their existing infrastructures.


IBM stretches grid business

And on that subject, IBM - along with partners Platform Computing and Globus - has announced grid computing sales to three companies; RBC Insurance, Kansei Electric Power and Royal Dutch Shell. Read more at C|Net.

ILOG Reports Record Results for Third Quarter

ILOG reported revenues of $27.2 million for the third quarter of fiscal year 2003, ended March 31, 2003, and an operating profit of $3.8 million. This compares with $23.2 million in revenue and an operating profit of $2.9 million in the prior year's third quarter.

See results announcement.

ILOG shown as leader in Gartner's latest Business Rules "Magic Quadrant"

Gartner reports that the software category is moving up the "maturity curve" towards mainstream adoption and will have a significant impact on the business process management and emerging business activity monitoring markets. Recognizing the power of business rule software to create both agile enterprise architectures and create ROI, the report also estimates the market is expected to grow at a steady rate during the next several years.

Gartner also points out that rule engines are important components in BPM (Business Process Management) and BAM (Business Activity Monitoring) software.

See ILOG's announcement.

webMethods and Informatica Announce General Availability of the Business Activity Platform

The Business Activity Platform - "the First Fully Functional BAM Platform" - includes the best-of-breed combination of the webMethods Integration Platform with Informatica's market-leading PowerCenterRT(TM) data integration platform and PowerAnalyzer(TM) business intelligence software. Also included is the Business Activity Platform Adapter, which provides complete interoperability between those components. See Informatica press release and story at ADTmag.

Informatica Q1 results - revenues hold, profits rise

Revenues for the first quarter of 2003 were $48.5 million, consistent with the first quarter of 2002. Net income for the first quarter, calculated in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), was $1.2 million or $0.01 per share, compared to a net loss of $0.2 million or $0.00 per share recorded in the first quarter of 2002. Informatica claims 119 repeat sales and 42 new customers in the quarter to bring the total to 1752. See announcement.

Iona Q1 results

Product revenue collapsed from $25.6m in the same quarter last year down to $6.9m, as total revenue slumps from $39.5m to $17.0m, and losses nearly double from $6.6m to $11.9m. "In Q1 the combined effects of the current macroeconomic climate and geopolitical uncertainties led our customers to delay or reduce their IT spending. This was especially true of organizations in the U.S. telecommunications sector," said Barry Morris, IONA's Chief Executive Officer. "At the same time, we are receiving positive reactions to our new Web services integration products, which confirm that we are well positioned to solve integration problems in particular areas where we have unique strengths."

"We are operating in a tough economic environment," said Dan Demmer, IONA's Chief Financial Officer. "But we are taking the actions required to return IONA to profitability as quickly as possible, while maintaining our long-term growth potential."

See the gory details.

iWay Software offers free trial for JCA adapters

See messageQ and announcement. This should assist their OEM's such as Sonic in acquiring new business.

iWay has also recently launched an "adapter factory division - see announcement - also focused particularly (not exclusively) on their OEMs.

Magic And IBM to Tout Magic’s iBolt For IBM’s iSeries Platform

See messageQ. This may give DataMirror a little competition in the AS/400 market.

Mercator Q1 loss narrows

Total revenues for the period were $23.0 million, compared to $27.4 million in the first quarter a year ago, including license revenue of $7.0 million, which is down 27% compared to license revenue of $9.5 million in the first quarter of 2002. Maintenance revenue of $10.4 million in the first quarter was up 5%, compared to $9.9 million in the first quarter of 2002. Q1 GAAP net loss was ($4.3) million, or ($0.12) per share for the first quarter of 2003, and narrowed by 30% from a net loss of ($6.1) million, or ($0.18) per share a year ago.

Mercator claims that the recent proxy battle (see below) resulted in customers deferring purchases, and a total charge over Q1 and Q2 of around $700k. Mercator's website also claims 1100 customers - no information on how that has increased over the quarter.

See announcement.

Mercator pays SSH to go away

Under terms of the deal, Rodney Bienvenu of SSH (the investment holding company which has been trying to take over Mercator) will be appointed a special advisor to Mercator's Board of Directors on strategic matters. Mercator has agreed to reimburse SSH $300,000 for expenses related to the proxy contest and SSH has agreed that it will not initiate another proxy contest or make an unsolicited offer for the Company until at least January 15, 2004.

See ebizQ.

Persistence Software Q1 results

For the quarter, revenues were $2,523,000, compared with $2,161,000 for the first quarter of 2002. The Company reported a net loss of $1,008,000, or $(0.04) per share, compared with a net loss of $3,309,000, or $(0.16) per share for the same period last year. The Company reported a 35 percent decrease in operating expenses, compared to the first quarter of last year. Cash balances at March 31, 2003 were $7,101,000 compared to $7,189,000 for the same period last year.

Revenues for the prior quarter, ended December 31, 2002, were $2,551,000 with a net loss of $1,897,000.

See release.

PolarLake announces technology roadmap

Products slated for release in Q2, 2003 are PolarLake JIntegrator (Enterprise XML and Web Services Platform for Java) PolarLake Messaging Integrator (XML Integration, Brokering and Transformation) and PolarLake Database Integrator V3.0 (XML-to-Database Integration). See the roadmap.

Reuters down 13 percent

Reuters Group revenues, including those from electronic trading unit Instinet Group Inc fell by 13 percent to 798 million pounds ($1.26 billion) in the first quarter from 912 million a year ago. It says it is not ruling out asset sales, though it would prefer to "actively work" the assets.

See Yahoo.

SeeBeyond slips in Q1 results

Total revenue for the first quarter ended March 31, 2003 was $35.8 million compared to $40.9 million in the first quarter of the prior year. License revenue for the first quarter was $13.0 million compared to $21.1 million for the prior year's first quarter. SeeBeyond's international business generated 37% of total revenues for the first quarter 2003. Net GAAP loss for the quarter was $6.1 million, or ($0.07) per share compared to net income of $2.9 million, or $0.03 per share in the prior year's first quarter. SeeBeyond claims 80 new deals in the quarter, and predicts revenues and losses flat for Q2.

See announcement.

Unlike Ascential and Informatica, SeeBeyond seems to be struggling somewhat.

Sonic Software announces "Business Integration Suite"

The Suite is comprised of five component products: Sonic ESB™ (the renamed SonicXQ), Sonic Orchestration Server™, Sonic XML Server™, Sonic Integration Studio™ and Adapters for Sonic ESB™. See announcement.

Pricing and availability

Product Availability Pricing
Sonic ESB April 28th $10,000 per CPU
Sonic Orchestration Server Q3, 2003 $12,500 per CPU
Sonic XML Server Q3, 2003 $10,000 per CPU
Sonic Integration Studio Q3, 2003 TBD
Adapters for Sonic ESB Now Vary by adapter and platform combination

Sonic release Sonic ESB 5.0

The announcement claims that Sonic ESB provides a distributed, standards-based, cost-effective, easily managed infrastructure that reliably integrates applications and orchestrates business processes across the extended enterprise using Web services and the J2EE™ Connector Architecture. Sonic's standards-based approach to distributed integration is more flexible and cost-effective than integration brokers or application servers.

Available from 28 April, claimed enhancements include:

  • Enhanced Distributed Management Framework — A Java Management Extensions (JMX)-based management infrastructure makes configuration, deployment, monitoring and diagnosis of thousands of distributed services possible. All of these management functions can be performed from a unified management dashboard.

  • High Availability & Scalability — Sonic ESB provides transparent access to redundant communication servers to enable the high-availability required by mission critical deployments.

  • Pluggable Security — A Pluggable security framework provides the ability to integrate across the multiple security domains that co-exist within an enterprise, or between business partners. This ensures that connected information and applications honor established security policies.

  • Integrated Development Tools — Sonic ESB is integrated with Sonic Stylus Studio, an award-winning XML development tool that includes a visual XSLT transformation mapper and debugger and an XQuery expression builder, as well as XML document and schema editors. With this new tool bundle, developer productivity increases to rapidly accelerate time-to-deployment for these projects.

Sonic opens 5 European offices

Sonic has announced the incorporation of subsidiaries in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and United Kingdom, the five largest European markets for enterprise integration.

Sonic Software Demonstrates 'Massive Scalability' of Standards-Based Telecommunications Solution

This highly scalable, service-oriented environment, which adheres to OSS/J standards and design guidelines, demonstrated a self-service telecommunications customer portal handling a sustained rate of over 16.2 million concurrent customer queries per hour and over 270,000 new order requests per hour. The Massive Scalability white paper, detailing the effort along with a discussion of the results, is available for public download from the OSS/J section of Sonic's Web site at See also the

_OSS/J consists of quite a number of JSRs put together for the telco industry, and it relies on JMS for its underpinnings. For more information on the OSS through Java initiative and its membership, visit:

Competing standards hurt Web services growth, says Sonic

The current competition among three sets of SOAP reliable messaging standards is complicating work for developers of Web services applications, contends Dave Chappell, vice president and chief technology evangelist at Sonic Software Corp. "All were recently announced, and all are named under the de facto branding of WS-. There is the OASIS WS-Reliability spec that a large number of vendors, including Sonic, are a part of. There is a one-vendor set of specs announced by BEA recently, known as WS-Acknowledgement, WS-Callback, and WS-MessageData. Then less than two weeks after that announcement, along came another competing

specification announced jointly by Microsoft, IBM, BEA, and TIBCO, known as WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-Addressing. So it would seem that BEA is even competing with itself in this area."

See story in ADTmag.

TimesTen goes Linux

Known for its in-memory database, TimesTen would prefer it to be seen as a real-time event processing system.

The new version supports servers based on Intel's Itanium2 processor running the RedHat Linux operating system, a move that clearly could cut the cost of real-time implementations. To ease complexity, the system's Oracle Connect facility now supports transparent pass-through of SQL requests to Oracle databases.

See ADTmag.

webMethods Q4 and FY results reported - revenue flat, licenses down

Total revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31, 2003 was $49.1 million, compared to $50.7 million in the prior year period. License revenue for the March 2003 quarter was $28.0 million, compared to $32.8 million in the prior year period. Under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the company's net income for the March 2003 quarter was $157,000, or $0.00 per share, compared to a net loss of $15.7 million, or a loss of $0.31 per share, in the prior year period.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003, total revenue was $196.8 million, compared to $196.0 million in the prior fiscal year. License revenue for fiscal year 2003 was $117.1 million, compared to $121.8 million in the prior fiscal year. On a GAAP basis, the company's net loss for fiscal year 2003 was $8.6 million, or a loss of $0.17 per share, compared to a net loss of $82.7 million, or a loss of $1.67 per share, in the prior fiscal year.

Rather than claim specific new customer sales, webMethods says: "During the fourth fiscal quarter, 95 customers completed implementations of the webMethods integration platform, marking the sixth consecutive record-breaking quarter in terms of customer deployments." The website claims 900 customers.

See announcement.

webMethods, JBoss on Verge of Total Integration

Application integrator WebMethods today launched its JBoss integration customer preview program, meaning it will now roll out the new capability to a select group of customers. The move marks the second to last step in its strategy to integrate the JBoss open-source application server with its integration platform.

See announcement and InternetNews.

Web services will not wait, says Accenture

Most senior level technology managers now view web services technology as enterprise-ready, say 250 CIOs and other 'C-level' executives from six countries surveyed by Accenture on their attitudes to web services technology. Microsoft appears to be winning the platform war. Just over one-third of respondents named Microsoft .Net as their preferred platform for web services as opposed to just under one-quarter who plumped for J2EE. A further 28% said they would use a combination of both.

See Infoconomy.

Web services standards facing a split

IBM and Microsoft plan to submit their high-profile BPEL4WS choreography proposal to the OASIS standards group, even though the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is already at work building a standard for automating complex business processes with Web services. An Oracle executive co-chairing the W3C's choreography group says if the two consortiums can't cooperate, the Web services standards movement will be at risk.

For the story, see C|Net.

One of the advantages of a long gap between digests is the number of articles dealing with the same issue; here is a sample of others on this and related matters:

W3C reacts to BPEL4WS choreography snub

Following the decision earlier this week by IBM, Microsoft and BEA Systems to submit its BPEL4WS Web services choreography specification to OASIS for review instead of the World Wide Web Consortium, a W3C spokesperson said the group didn't understand why it was snubbed, suggesting that the three vendors aren't committed to developing open Web services standards. See TechWeb

BPEL4WS: The Right Web Service Process Standard TechStrategy Brief

Apps heavyweights SAP and Siebel have joined BEA, IBM, and Microsoft as co-authors on the BPEL4WS business process specification -- and given it to OASIS under royalty-free terms. It's good news for firms focused on Web services, says Forrester.

IBM, MS steamrollering W3C?

Those who are following the development of Web services standards have been holding their breath, waiting to see how the controversy over choreography and workflow specifications will be resolved. However, according to one columnist, the controversy is about to evolve into an industry-splitting fracas. See ZDNet

IBM And Microsoft Messing With BPM Standards?

For any technology to succeed across the wide swath that is IT, there must be wide acceptance of common standards. Only when HTML was embraced, for example, did the Internet become what it is today. But ebizQ columnists Howard Smith and Peter Fingar say a recent move by two technology giants could gum up the works as backers of Business Process Management (BPM) push standards those proponents say would help BPM fulfill its vast potential in the world of business computing: see ebizQ.

Fast facts on BPEL4WS and its submission to OASIS

See for some FAQs (provided, it seems, by Collaxa).

And finally... "Mr Relational", Dr Edgar Codd, dies aged 79

Use SQL? Remember all those normal forms? Well, without Codd, none of that might have happened; we'd all still be messing with Codasyl and do-it-yourself file structures. RIP.

See messageQ.

Revision r1.13 - 22 May 2003 - 17:40 GMT
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