IBM has agreed to buy a small, privately-held application management software maker called Cyanea Systems for an undisclosed sum.
IBM plans to add Cyanea's application development and management technology to its Tivoli systems management software portfolio.
The acquisition fits the IBM software group's pattern of buying its partners to boost its infrastructure technology. Three-year-old Cyanea already works closely with IBM, and its flagship product, Cyanea/One, is resold by IBM under the name WebSphere Studio Application Monitor.
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IBM expects Cyanea's five employees to join IBM, with Cyanea chief executive officer James Chong becoming IBM's vice-president of application management.
Cyanea is also a partner of BEA Systems. Chong said he expects to continue supporting rivals to IBM's WebSphere platform, including BEA's WebLogic Platform.
"Application management is application management. We're platform agnostic," he said. "We'll support .Net as well."
IBM plans to release a road map for Cyanea's technology within the next two months. IBM expects to use Cyanea's technology in its Rational and WebSphere lines, as well as in Tivoli, said IBM executive Robert LeBlanc.
"We can take the technology we've got, and with Candle, we think we've got the capability here to build out a toolset for really end-to-end application management," LeBlanc said.
The largest acquisition of the past year by IBM's $14bn (£7.7bn) software group was Candle, a well-known management software supplier. It has also scooped up a handful of smaller software companies, such as analytics developer Alphablox, data synchronisation specialist Trigo Technologies and integration software maker CrossAccess.
Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service