So, Software AG is buying webMethods.
I just hope this isn’t going to mean a hangover for users. The big question is: given webMethods is a more recognizable brand in the super-heated SOA market, will Software AG have the guts to take the bold step of renaming itself webMethods?
webMethods has long been a target of acquisition rumours. As the number 3 in the integration space back in the EAI days, it gradually lost pace with TIBCO and IBM, although it has a strong array of products. However, as more players came into what is now the SOA market, with strong moves from companies like Oracle and BEA, webMethods had been slipping further and further back. But the combination with Software AG is interesting to say the least. There is a load of overlap between the products of the two companies, so this will have to be resolved. Software AG made a move once before to get a major US presence with the SAGA initiative, only to back off when it was less than successful. Perhaps this is the major driver behind this move.
The future for end users will depend on the way Software AG jumps. In general, at least some of the webMethods products are superior to their SoftwareAG counterparts, particularly in the non-mainframe integration, process and BAM areas. Then there is the question of the salesforces. webMethods just rolled over a large portion of their sales force over the last 6-12 months, so this could be an area of even more churn.
However, what this does do is establish for arguably the first time a truly major European SOA vendor. Expect a more detailed advisory from Lustratus in the next couple of days or so, but for the moment our advice to users of products from either company is – don’t just look for confirmation that your product will continue, look for assurances that the competing product (and there is almost certain to be one given the extent of overlap) will be killed!