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Lynton Research Digest - 10th December 2003

Apache works with ObjectWeb on open source J2EE

Following the recent signing by Apache of the J2EE license, ObjectWeb and the Apache Software Foundation finally kicked off collaboration on their open source J2EE implementations. ObjectWeb has modified its (LGPL) license terms to allow Apache to use ObjectWeb components under the more liberal BSD license (which is compatible with Apache's own licensing terms).

Apache is expected to use JOTM (a Java transaction manager) and ASM (a Java byte-code manipulation framework) within its Geronimo J2EE application server. Perhaps use of ObjectWeb's JORAM JMS implementation is also on the cards.

See TheServerSide: ObjectWeb and Apache announce collaboration on Open Source J2EE.

Covalent manages open source

And another... Covalent says its Application Manager “manages all major open source Web application resources including Tomcat, Jboss, Linux, Apache, and MySQL, solving the current ‘Achilles heel’ of enterprise open source adoption.” See Covalent Unwraps Management Offering For Open Source.

CA partners with JBoss to manage web services

CA's Unicenter Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) native observation has now been "optimized" for the JBoss application server, enabling customers to monitor and manage Web services deployed on the JBoss platform.

See ebizQ: JBoss, CA Together On Web Services

Another feather in JBoss Group's cap, adding CA to its growing list of commercial partners, who are helping to drive uptake of JBoss (and of JBoss Group's training and consultancy services).

JBoss adds Cache to application server

JBossCache can be either local or replicated, and performs functionality such as locking, replication and transaction management. Use of AOP (aspect oriented programming) is claimed to allow replication of any java object. JBossCache will support caching and distribution/replication of:
  • JNDI
  • HTTP sessions
  • Stateful session beans
  • Entity beans
See ebizQ: JBoss Unwraps ‘JBossCache’ and TheServerSide: JBoss Group Unveils JBossCache.

Yet another cache to add to the several existing JBoss compatible open source projects (eg Jakarta's JCS Java Caching System, Jcache at SourceForge) not to mention commercial partners such as SpiritSoft and Gemstone (which seems have dropped off the partner list) and others such as Tangosol and Chutney. It's a complex world out there!

Java Rule Engine API released

After more than three years in the JCP JSR-94 - Java Rule Engine API has finally made its way through to the final ballot.

It's instructive to see that two of the original six sponsors (Blaze and Silverstream) are no longer around as independent companies; meanwhile ATG has substantially changed its business model. If there was time for Blaze to be bought, demerged, and then acquired twice more, surely a simple rule API (which doesn't even specify the semantics of the rules themselves) could be produced faster? For goodness sake, the public review period took over a year!

Persistence raises $1.1m with private placing

The investment by a group of private investors, amounting to $1.119 million, was made at a price of $3.73 per share, based on the average of the five day closing sale price ending on the date the purchase agreement was signed. In addition, Persistence issued warrants to purchase an aggregate of 60,000 shares to the investors and a warrant to purchase 30,000 shares to the placement agent, Security Research Associates (SRA). The exercise price for the warrant shares is $4.48 per share (a 20% premium over the fair market value).

This increases the free float of shares by about 15%, and adds about 20% to the cash available of $5m or so.

Progress snaffles DataDirect

For approximately $88 million in cash, Progress will acquire "substantially all" of DataDirect, the #1 vendor of software components for data connectivity across disparate databases and platforms via ODBC, JDBC, and other industry standards. Formerly a division of Intersolv and then Merant, DataDirect says its products are embedded in the products of over 250 top software companies and the applications of thousands of large enterprises.

See Progress Software Corporation to Acquire DataDirect Technologies and ADTmag: Progress buys DataDirect for $88M.

It looks like DataDirect will continue to operate as a separate business within Progress. I wonder if Progress has missed a trick by not folding this integration stack into Sonic Software?

Late comment: After sending out the digest I just saw this interesting comment from Bloor's Phil Howard: IT-Director - Am I right or am I right?

Versata Q4 and annual results

Total revenue for the quarter ended October 31, 2003 was $3 million, up 8% from the quarter ended July 31, 2003. Revenue for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2003 was $15.3 million, as compared to $20.2 million for fiscal year 2002. On a GAAP basis, the net loss for the fourth quarter 2003 was $4.7 million, compared to $3.8 million for the quarter ended July 31, 2003. For the fiscal year 2003, net loss on a GAAP basis was $10.8 million, compared to $11.2 million or $1.58 per share for fiscal year 2002.

Fourth quarter software license revenue was $774 thousand, an increase of 59% from $487 thousand in the quarter ended July 31, 2003. As a percent of total revenue, software license revenue increased to 26% in the fourth quarter from 18% in the third quarter. Software license revenue for the fiscal year 2003 was $5.8 million compared to $6.6 million for the fiscal year 2002.

See Versata Announces Results for Fourth Quarter 2003.

Losses are mounting again, and new sales seem to have collapsed (just 21% of annual revenue came in the last six months). With cash cover of just $13 million (which should be burned out in less than eighteen months), and not much idea how to turn its "unique capabilities" into hard cash, Versata looks like a prime candidate for early "consolidation" (failing which, the knacker's yard).

Revision r1.5 - 10 Dec 2003 - 13:59 GMT
Parents: 2003 > Dec03
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