Before Sun: Oracle's recent acquisitions

Sun Microsystems joins a long list, including such names as BEA Systems, PeopleSoft, and Siebel Systems, of Oracle's latest buys

Oracle hasn't been shy in recent years about snapping up other companies, including big-name outfits such as BEA Systems, PeopleSoft, and Siebel Systems.

Here's a quick rundown of Oracle's most recent deals, prior to the proposed $7.4 billion Sun Microsystems buyout announced Monday (and here you can view our slideshow on 2009's hottest tech M&A deals):

[ InfoWorld's Neil McAllister correctly predicted Oracle's Sun takeover. Find out why he thought the deal would make sense. | For full coverage of the Oracle-Sun deal, see InfoWorld's special report. ]

-- Relsys International: Oracle announced on March 23 that it would acquire this maker of drug safety, risk management, and analytics applications for the health sciences industry. The move helps improve Oracle's position in respect to big computing changes expected in the U.S. healthcare system under the Obama administration.

-- mValent: Oracle announced on Feb. 4, 2009, plans to buy this maker of application configuration management for an undisclosed sum. "It means that Oracle is getting more serious about application management -- as they should after buying so many application platforms, even if they mush all of them together with Fusion, customers are still going to have to manage the end-to-end performance of the process or transaction," said Jasmine Noel, founder and principal analyst at Ptak, Noel & Associates, following announcement of the deal. The move is seen as part of a broader desire on Oracle's part of beef up its management product portfolio, with some speculating that Oracle might even be an eventual bidder for a much larger management software company such as BMC or CA.

-- Tacit Software: Oracle snapped up the intellectual property assets of this maker of expertise location tools that can be integrated with Oracle's Beehive collaboration software.

-- Haley Ltd.: Oracle in October said it has bought Ruleburst Holdings, the parent company of Haley Ltd., a maker of  "policy modeling and automation software for legislative and regulated industries such as public sector, financial services and insurance."

-- Advanced Visual Technology (AVT): Oracle in October strengthened its retail vertical market product portfolio with the buyout of AVT for an undisclosed amount. The company makes space-planning software for retailers that complements Oracle's existing Oracle Retail application suite.

-- Primavera Software: Oracle in October added the project portfolio management software vendor, for an undisclosed amount, to its arsenal. Forrester called Primavera the "grand-daddy of project management," and the buyout gave Oracle a competitive product vs. those from CA, IBM, and smaller players.

-- ClearApp: Oracle in September announced plans to buy this maker of software for managing the performance of composite applications in SOA environments. Oracle said the software would work alongside its own Enterprise Manager offering, which was recently upgraded.

-- Global Knowledge Software: Oracle announced in July that it was buying this developer of enterprise software-training automation tools. Oracle, a long-standing GKS customer, used the company's tools to build its Oracle User Productivity Kit as a complement to its Oracle Tutor software. It plans to provide training content modules for all its application products using GKS tools, it said.

-- SkyWire Software: Oracle in June announced the purchase of this maker of applications for connecting insurance agents, brokers, and carriers. Oracle said the software would complement its own insurance and CRM software, as well as that of earlier buyout AdminServer.

-- AdminServer: Oracle in May said it was buying this vendor of insurance policy administration software. At the time of the deal, Oracle stated: "AdminServer's product offering will become a core component of Oracle's existing insurance industry software footprint that is already used by more than one thousand insurers including 20 of the top 20 global insurance companies."

-- Empirix's e-TEST suite: Oracle in March said it was buying these Web-application testing products and would make them "a core component" of its Enterprise Manager product.

-- Captovation: The buyout of this document-capture vendor got overshadowed in a big way by the announcement of the BEA deal on the same day. Oracle aired plans to plug this company's document capture software into Oracle's existing content-management suite.

-- BEA Systems: Oracle in January announced its $8.5 billion deal to acquire BEA and its middleware technology, a key component for IT shops moving to a SOA. Oracle said BEA's products will "significantly enhance and extend" Oracle's own Fusion middleware. The buyout process was not pretty on this one, with BEA earlier rejecting a $6.7 billion bid by Oracle.

Want to go further back? Here's a recap of about a dozen Oracle deals in 2007.

IDG News Service and Network World staff contributed to this article.

This story, "Before Sun: Oracle's recent acquisitions" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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