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Acquisition of the Week: BEA and Flashline

Yesterday BEA announced it would acquire SOA Governance vendor Flashline for an undisclosed sum.
The consolidation continues in the SOA-everything space, with BEA's decision coming just over a month after HP acquired Mercury Interactive, which had previously acquired Systinet, one of the more recognizable names in the registry-repository market.

Many pundits are questioning why BEA would acquire one registry-repository vendor when it already embeds Systinet's registry-repository into its SOA suite of products, and whether BEA can - or will - sustain both products in a "coopetive" spirit.

What the pundits are missing is that while both Flashline and Systinet are indeed SOA governance suites, they are very different animals. Having recently looked at Flashline as part of a larger SOA Governance story, it's pretty clear that Flashline and Systinet 2 have very different focuses and roles within the enterprise.

Both are governance suites, don't get me wrong, but Flashline is more focused on the development and long term maintenance aspects of governing SOA implementations while Systinet 2 is more focused in the managing of the SOA governance process and assisting in run-time discovery of SOA artifacts.

Coupled with BEA's roadmap, which is uniquely focused on the needs of business analysts and Web 2.0, the acquisition of Flashline makes a great deal of sense and in fact should not conflict with its OEM deal with Systinet. In fact the two registry-repository solutions are quite complementary in many ways and will require less effort on the part of BEA to integrate than would a rip and replace effort to remove Systinet from the picture.

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