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Market Research Digest - 26 March 2003

After a week off for Web Services Edge East in Boston, here's the latest tidbits from the news....

Cape Clear offers Web services integration tryout

Annraí O'Toole, CEO at Cape Clear Software has announced a new program that lets companies try out integration using Web services to see if they will work better for their for their organizations than traditional EAI or J2EE-based systems. The program includes free evaluation, discounted consulting and a full refund guarantee. See announcement.

IDC cuts growth forecasts

IDC has pegged back its forecast for IT spending, citing the continued economic malaise and prolonged uncertainty about Iraq.

At the end of 2002, IDC forecast that IT spending would grow by between 8% and 9% over the next four years. Now it is forecasting growth of 6.5% to 7% for that period. Worldwide IT spending shrank to $857 billion in 2002, but will grow by 3.7% this year, eventually topping $1 trillion by 2005. At the peak of the IT spending boom in 2000, analysts had predicted that the industry would hit the $1 trillion mark in 2001.

See Infoconomy.

Informatica updates analysis system

Informatica Corp. has announced PowerAnalyzer 4 -- previously code-named "Wildfire" -- which supports Web services APIs, "persona-driven" interfaces and guided-analysis workflow process management. This deeply layered business intelligence (BI) software package is intended to help individuals and groups within organizations to better exploit corporate databases.

On tap in PowerAnalyzer 4 are intelligent caching and integrated performance management metrics, as

well as Java Messaging Services (JMS) support and federated-querying capabilities.

See ADTmag.

Integration landscape shifting rapidly as standards put pressure on "traditional" EAI products

There is too much product chasing too few customers and all of these [integration] segments need to evolve. Pricing fell by 14 percent for EAI vendors in 2002, says Meta Group, following a much worse year in 2001.

"The huge players, SAP, IBM, Microsoft, they're all involved with integration and portals and partnering," says ARC Group. "It's not hard to make a prediction. Most of the rest will be flowing around them and will change their business, get acquired or go away." See Line56.

iWay launches competitive trade in program against Neon Systems, Attunity, Actional, Taviz, and Striva

Companies can trade in their adapters for a the equivalent technologies within the iWay Universal Adapter Suite. This program offers companies as much as a 50 percent trade-in value on their current adapter products for a similar iWay adapter configuration, iWay says. See Step-Up promotion and messageQ.

iWay's data adapters can be used with a range of "connectors" - eg ODBC, OLE DB, JDBC - which makes them easy to adopt in principle; other application adapters may be harder. Still, you had better be sufficiently dissatisfied with your original purchase that you are prepared to spend to change horses in mid stream.

Group With 4.84% Stake Seeks To Replace Mercator Board at May AGM

Rodney Bienvenu, Chairman and CEO of Strategic Software Holdings, states, "As Mercator's largest shareholder, we are taking this action because the current board has steered the company into a precarious situation and the company lacks a realistic strategy for creating shareholder value. Management's current plan fails to address the market realities of the enterprise software market and Mercator's position in it. In addition, management seems oblivious to the fact that the company has become all but invisible to the outside world and is increasingly becoming irrelevant in the marketplace. With almost no analyst coverage and a steadily declining share of the enterprise applications market, shareholders must act before their investments dwindle to nothing. The history of the enterprise software market is littered with companies that simply withered away while an entrenched board and well paid management team fiddled, leaving shareholders holding a sad, empty bag." See for more information.

It all makes for a bit of fun for the investment bankers, I guess. In fact CEO Roy King seems to have made a good stab at controlling costs - but has found it hard to cope with the continuing weakness in the market.

MS, IBM, BEA and Tibco announce WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-Addressing specs

WS-RM provides the necessary protocol for ensuring that unreceived and duplicate messages can be detected, and received messages can be processed in the order in which they were sent. Messages can be exchanged with varying levels of delivery assurances including at most once, at least once or exactly once, as well as in order.

IBM and Microsoft are publishing a white paper to provide a high-level overview and road map for reliable Web services communications. Titled "Reliable Message Delivery in a Web Services World: A Proposed Architecture and Roadmap," which positions these with other Web services specifications such as the WS-Policy and WS-Security families that are required to provide a complete solution.

See messageQ, links and excerpts at

How does this relate to the WS-Reliability spec drafted by Fujitsu Limited, Hitachi, Ltd., NEC Corporation, OracleCorp., SonicSoftware, and SunMicrosystems (see DigestJan03Week2) and taken up by OASIS last month? Looks like time for a bit of a spat.

Microsoft walks out on WS-Choreography

Meanwhile Microsoft has dropped out of the W3C choreography working group co-chaired by Steve Ross-Talbot of Enigmatec, who is reported to be "mystified and stunned" - see ZDNet for the background on the politics of standards.

Progress reports Q1/2003

Revenue for the quarter increased 11 percent to $71.8 million, up from $64.5 million in the same quarter last year. Net income was $4.2 million, up 72 percent from $2.5 million in the same quarter last year.

See press release.

During the earnings call Sonic headline revenues of $4.9M for this quarter were announced (including Excelon's XML tools), up from $2.9M last year and $4.2M last quarter. Excelon's last quarter as a standalone company raised nearly $8M revenue - and falling around $2M each quarter; so most of Progress and Sonic's increment appears simply the effect of consolidating the Excelon accounts.

Progress expects to see continued rapid growth at Sonic - as much as 75% over the year.

SpiritSoft releases SpiritCache 2.0

This latest upgrade to SpiritSoft's distributed caching framework includes Traffic Optimization technology, Write-Through-Caching, JMX monitoring tools, and support for JMS, all of which enable developers to build a cost effective, continuous data fabric across multiple platforms. See messageQ, Java Developer's Journal and [[][press release].

Tangosol releases Coherence 2.1

and (cheekily) claims to have the only clustered JCache implementation. New features include JCA transactions for cache integrity, Java NIO support, distributed cache query and cache write-behind support; they also claim support for grid architectures and user-configurable security.

See messageQ and Tangosol news.

Tibco Software Q1 results

Revenue for Q1 ending 28 Feb was $63.7M, of which license revenues were $35.0M. Net GAAP income $1.7M. Tibco claims 77 new customers, bringing the total to more than 1,900.

See announcement.

These results are marginally better than Tibco forecast just two weeks ago - presumably reflecting good news management as much as a last minute sales dash. However revenue is down more than $10M on the same quarter last year, and more than $7M sequentially on Q4.

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