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JBoss Is For Sale, Is Oracle Bidding?

Oracle has acquired Sleepycat Software and its open-source Berkeley DB embeddable database system, Oracle said Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Oracle is adding the Sleepycat product to its line of embeddable databases which already includes its own Oracle Lite for mobile devices and Oracle TimesTen for in-memory database applications. IDC put the size of the embeddable database market at just over $2 billion last year and it's expected to grow to $3.2 billion by 2009.

Oracle has reportedly been holding acquisition talks with several open-source software vendors, including Sleepycat and JBoss Inc., the commercial company behind the JBoss open-source application server. JBoss has been shopping itself to prospective buyers for at least seven months and is reported to be currently trying to close a deal with Oracle.

Bill Roth, VP of BEA Systems Inc.'s Workshop tools unit said yesterday that BEA Systems and JBoss held talks on a possible acquisition of JBoss seven months ago.

"We had a discussion with them in mid-2005. I knew some of the people at JBoss," Roth said Monday. But the discussion didn't go far because "the valuation they expected was an outrageous multiple of their earnings. It was just ridiculous," he said.

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