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Lynton Research Digest - 31st December 2003

Here we are at the end of another topsy-turvy year. I hope you've all enjoyed your Yule break and are now ready to get back to work (well, maybe next week, eh?). Keep in touch and make sure auld acquaintance isn't forgot - Happy New Year!


BPM to grow, says Meta

According to META Group, the business performance management (BPM) marketplace will grow by 15%-20% in 2004. The BPM market grew to approximately $1.1 billion in 2003. Although this growth represents a 10%-15% increase over the 2002 marketplace, this was less than most BPM vendors had anticipated for the year. A recent META Group study uncovered that, within the next 18 months, 85% of firms will work on a BPM project (often as part of the drive to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley).

See ebizQ: Biz Performance Management On Upswing.

Corticon launches spreadsheet-like business rules software

Believing that business rules technology was missing the point by having programmers set up the business rules, Corticon decided to approach business rules from a business analyst perspective. So rather than taking the programmer approach of starting with the business rules engine, Corticon began with a spreadsheet-like interface that business analysts would be familiar with and could then use to set the business rules themselves.

See ADTmag: Start-up rethinks business rules software.

This seems to be a more compelling approach to business rules than demonstrated by many products, which - though they are marketed as suitable for analysts - tend to take a much more "programmer friendly" (ie analyst unfriendly) approach.

EMC buys VMWare

EMC continues its blitzkrieg move into the software business, signing a definitive agreement to acquire VMware Inc. in a cash transaction valued at approximately $635 million. See ADTmag: EMC grabs VMWare for $635M.

VMWare is an increasingly big name in the field of server consolidation; why maintain half a dozen machines (with different operating systems/versions etc) when you can host them all as images running on a single high powered box.

Gartner: IT spending still cautious

Based on weekly polling of 25,000 IT managers, Gartner says that companies both large and small are spending less (as little as 85% during October and 81% in November) on IT in the fourth quarter than what they had previously budgeted, a sign that a big spending recovery in 2004 is unlikely.

See C|Net: Gartner - IT spending still cautious and Newsfactor: How Much 'Up' in the Tech Upturn?.

JavaServer Faces proposed final draft

The Proposed Final Draft Specification for JSR-127 - JavaServer Faces is available. According to Sun's JavaServer Faces FAQ pages JavaServer Faces technology is a framework for building user interfaces for web applications. JavaServer Faces technology includes:
  • a set of APIs for: representing UI components and managing their state, handling events and input validation, defining page navigation, and supporting internationalization and accessibility.
  • A JavaServer Pages (JSP) custom tag library for expressing a JavaServer Faces interface within a JSP page.

JCache gets a new spec lead

Our old friend, Tangosol's Cameron Purdy, has just taken over as spec lead for JSR-107 - JCache temporary caching API. Although a number of vendors have had "JCache compatible" products out for the last 2 years, the JSR hasn't even made a community release yet. I'm sure Cameron (and all the others on the expert group) will get JCache turned around asap. Good luck chaps!

Progress Q4 results: double digit increase in income; revenue at an all-time high

Revenue for the quarter was $82.0 million, up 14 percent (6 percent at constant currency) from $72.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2002. Software license revenue was $29.9 million, up 19 percent (11 percent at constant currency) from $25.1 million in the same quarter last year. Operating income increased 33 percent to $12.3 million, up from $9.2 million in the same quarter last year. Net income was $8.8 million, up 28 percent from $6.9 million in the same quarter last year.

The company's cash and short-term investments at the end of the quarter totaled $219 million. Assuming $88 million is still to be paid for DataDirect, that leaves $130 million or so for further possible acquisitions.

See Progress Software Reports Fourth Quarter Results.

According to the presentation slides Sonic Software's share has fallen from 8% to 6% in Q4 (and only 5% over the full year). However in absolute terms that represented a 45% increase from $4.2 million in Q4/2003 to $6.2 million in Q4/2003, and a 54% annual improvement from $15 million to $23 million. Progress management expects 40-50% growth in Sonic revenues next year, as well as $25-30 million revenues from DataDirect. They see the market for standards-based ESB products cannibalising (and putting pricing pressure on) the proprietary EAI guys like SeeBeyond and webMethods (who are themselves moving towards ESB products).

SOA market on the up

Zapthink says the market for "core" service-oriented architecture (SOA) technology will reach $43 billion by 2010 (by which time it will have "completely subsumed" the application server market). See SearchWebServices: SOA product market to hit $43B by 2010

TIBCO reports Q4 and 2003; profits up but licenses down.

Total revenues for the fourth quarter were $73.0 million. License revenues for the fourth quarter were $40.1 million. Net GAAP income for the quarter was $7.6 million. Annual revenue was $264.2 million, including $140.5 million license revenues and resulting in $11.4 million GAAP income. See TIBCO Software Reports Fourth Quarter Financial Results.

Interestingly the value of licenses due to "related parties" has actually increased (both absolutely and as a percentage) in the last year; while overall licensing is down from $159.1M to $140.5M (at least Q4 was up on 2002 as well as previous quarters), related party revenues have grown from $14.9M to $19.1M (from 9.4% up to 13.6%) - even though TIBCO is trying to run down its relationship with the main such party - Reuters Finance. Will TIBCO suffer from losing these revenues in future?

webMethods Ships Web Services-Based Portal

The results of the recent DataChannel acquisition, webMethods Portal "is a standards-based, presentation platform for delivering personalized, role-based access to relevant information, applications and business processes across the enterprise. webMethods Portal offers sophisticated portal development mechanisms, such as wizards-based portlet generation tools and the drag-and-drop page designer for ease of development and use, and enables rapid deployment."

See webMethods Ships Web Services-Based Portal Designed for Ease-Of-Use and Low Total Cost of Ownership.

webMethods obviously thinks that it can apply its integration skills into the portal space (and why not) - coming up against heavyweights like Oracle, BEA and IBM as well as the specialists like Plumtree and BroadVision (not to mention earlier movers from the EAI brigade like Iona, who seem to have taken their iPortal ball home, and TIBCO). Brave decision! However according to LineOne: webMethods Portal is not attempting to compete against these webMethods partners directly.

Revision r1.7 - 31 Dec 2003 - 15:41 GMT
Parents: 2003 > Dec03
Copyright © 2001-2004 Nigel Thomas. External material referenced from this page is the property of its respective authors.