June 29, 2004 7:52 AM PDT

Oracle snaps up Collaxa

Oracle on Tuesday announced the acquisition of Collaxa and plans to incorporate the company's business process automation software into Oracle's Java server software line.

Privately held Collaxa, which was founded in 2000, sells a business process management "engine," or software that collects data from different applications to complete a particular business process, such as handling insurance claims. Collaxa was one of the first companies to build its product around the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), a Web services specification under development. BPEL is designed to be an XML-based industry standard for business process management.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.


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Thomas Kurian, Oracle's senior vice president for Oracle Application Server and application development tools, is expected to announce the Collaxa deal at a keynote speech Tuesday afternoon at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco. Kurian also plans to say that Oracle will release MacOS X versions of its Oracle Application Server 10G and JDeveloper Java programming tools this fall.

Oracle has already renamed the Collaxa software Oracle BPEL Process Manager and has made it available for download for free evaluation. It can be purchased as an add-on option to Oracle Application Server Enterprise Edition for $10,000 or as a standalone product for $30,000. The BPEL Process Manager software can run on any Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application server.

The field of business process management has drawn increasing attention from large companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and BEA Systems, as well as dozens of specialized start-up companies.

Analysts say process workflow tools that use Web services are a central component to creating a service-oriented architecture, a modular system design for exhanging data between systems cost-effectively and reusing software components across many applications.

Oracle said the software will fill out its Java server line and provide tools for more rapidly building applications that automate business processes.

"Oracle made this acquisition to complete our services oriented architecture and integration technology stack," said Cheng. "We already have the infrastructure from our core application server based on Java. This adds a piece for orchestrating Web services."

On top of running business process workflow applications, the BPEL Process Manager software provides so-called business activity monitoring tools to report on the progress of a process that is under way. The software also includes "adapters" that transport data between packaged applications, such as SAP's R/3 and Siebel, Oracle said.

 

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