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Red Hat mulls BI strategy as Oracle overlords close in on Java

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Red Hat is looking to fill gaps in its increasingly burgeoning portfolio of software goodies by declaring it may soon get into the BI game.

The company’s JBoss CTO Mark Little told journalists at a press event in London this morning that plans were afoot to develop software for that market.

He would not be pushed, however, on whether Red Hat’s move into the Business Intelligence area would involve homegrown technology or come from a possible acquisition over the next year.

“We have plans to do something in the BI space,” he said.

Red Hat has gained plenty of traction in the past few quarters with its portfolio of software and more recently the open source vendor has worked hard to bed down JBoss, which the company acquired in 2006.

Its EMEA boss Werner Knoblich admitted to The Register in October last year that the firm had been playing catch-up. It took time to reshape its business strategy to accommodate JBoss because Red Hat "initially underestimated how much of a different beast middleware was", he said.

However, the software maker is now ramping up its efforts to bring JBoss, which competes with Microsoft’s .Net tech, into more enterprise-level organisations.

At the same time Red Hat has issued what some might see as a thinly veiled threat to Oracle, with the firm’s middleware veep Craig Muzilla urging the database juggernaut to take good care of Java.

Oracle is of course in the midst of completing its takeover of Sun Microsystems, and in so doing could ultimately seal Java’s future fate. Red Hat, for its part, hopes the company won’t turn its back on other vendors.

“Now as the Java platform changes hands we have high hopes that Oracle will not only serve as a faithful steward of this important technology, but will also be a positive force in driving the future of Java in collaboration with the members of the JCP [Java Community Process],” said Muzilla today.

His Red Hat colleagues agreed with that statement.

“We don’t know what we don’t know, which is what I’ve been saying for weeks,” said a slightly muddled Little when asked what might happen with Java after Oracle completes its deal with Sun tomorrow.

“We’ll just have to wait and see.” ®

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