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webMethods grabs The Mind Electric, two other firms

XML middleware specialist webMethods this week bought three small technology companies in a move to strengthen its position in the emerging Web services market. The deals, which cost $32 million in total, were announced simultaneously. Picked up on the shopping spree were a Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) player known as the Dante Group, early XML frontrunner DataChannel, and SOAP tool house The Mind Electric (TME).

“With all three, we are adding products to our overall product offering, [and] increasing the size of our market and the number of entry points into enterprise customers,” said Phillip Merrick, webMethods’ chairman and CEO.

Merrick said webMethods has already re-released The Mind Electric’s Grid-enabling GAIA software as webMethods’ own, along with TME’s popular GLUE platform.

“GLUE is recognized as a leading Web services platform, used both with, and independent of, application servers and integration servers. GLUE is also noted for providing interoperability between J2EE and .NET,” said Merrick, who noted that the TME acquisition also brought in that company’s founder and chief architect Graham Glass, who was named webMethods’ CTO.

Merrick said the acquisitions provide an option for those who want to avoid the pitfalls of choosing one side or the other in a long-running industry battle.

He said customers want to lay down a standards-based infrastructure that is independent of application servers, J2EE, .NET and so forth.

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