Progress pockets Persistence
ObjectStore suitably EdgeXtended by acquisition
It is not often that I get a genuine scoop, but I got a briefing today on Progress Software's acquisition of Persistence, even before the guys on Wall Street.
Here's how it happened: I was starting a tele-briefing with the ObjectStore division of Progress when I got an email through to me announcing the acquisition, and informing me of the webcast to be broadcast an hour later to the financial guys. Naturally enough, I asked my briefer about it and got the low-down on what the ObjectStore division is planning to do with Pervasive. More of that anon.
The ObjectStore division is, in fact, announcing a number of things today apart from the acquisition, notably ObjectStore 6.2 and, more particularly, the ObjectStore RFID accelerator. This will be generally available in October. In addition, though it has not been formally announced, the ObjectStore Trading Accelerator will also be available within the same timeframe, though financial and program trading environments is a market that Progress has addressed for some time and the Trading Accelerator will extend the company's solution rather than create a new one.
ObjectStore is an object-oriented database and its target markets are complex applications, real-time data caching and event-driven environments, though the last two of these are often used in conjunction. In particular, Progress sees a significant growth in the requirement for real-time, event-driven processing as a consequence of the expansion of use of RFID. In order to serve this market it has developed a number of specific facilities that augment the capabilities of the database, which provides an in-memory event cache.
The most notable of these facilities are the Event Query Language, which has been specifically designed to process incoming events (as opposed to the set-based processing in SQL) and product output that is usually an action - such as "sell this stock". Secondly, with respect to RFID it is providing a standards-based interface (in conjunction with partner ConnecTerra) that will accept input from front-end third party RFID specialists. And thirdly, it has integrated ObjectStore with the Sonic Enterprise Service Bus so that information from the event management system can be passed to back-end ERP and similar applications. It is also worth bearing in mind the company's PSE product, which is a cut-down version of ObjectStore with a small footprint that can run on handhelds and PDAs. This means that you can capture RFID data remotely and then load it into the main system as required.
This is neat stuff and confirms ObjectStore's leadership in the market for real-time data services. However, it will be augmented further by the acquisition of Persistence, whose core product is to be renamed ObjectStore EdgeXtend. To put it briefly, this product makes application servers go faster through object-relational mapping on the one hand and data caching on the other. Where it gains over the existing ObjectStore capabilities is in the mapping and development tools that it has, and it also has clever caching capabilities though it is likely that ObjectStore can expand on these and it can certainly add new persistence capabilities to the product.
This is certainly a sensible acquisition. While there is some overlap between the product sets there is also considerable potential synergy. The companies share a number of the same customers and this purchase can only extend ObjectStore's position in the object oriented market.
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