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Sun boosts Java with SeeBeyond

Cliff Saran
Sun is acquiring middleware integration supplier SeeBeyond for 216m in a bid to bolster its products for supporting service oriented architectures.

Sun chairman Scott McNealy said the acquisition of SeeBeyond would provide "an ideal platform for business and systems integrators to build the next generation applications of the future".

SeeBeyond's Ican 5.0 provides back-office and business-to-business integration, business process management, workflow and application adapters.

SeeBeyond users include the NHS, Axa, UBS, General Motors, Lockheed Martin and Sainsbury's.

Some analysts have warned that although SeeBeyond users will benefit from Sun's financial stability, there are concerns about how Sun will integrate the Ican tools into its Java strategy.

Neil Ward-Dutton, a partner at analyst firm Macehiter Ward-Dutton, said, "SeeBeyond is an integration specialist and a big part of its ability to deliver value comes from its lack of bias." He was concerned Sun could try to restrict SeeBeyond to its own Solaris operating system and limit how the product is developed.

Gartner analyst Massimo Pezzini warned that 70% of SeeBeyond's users were running legacy Datagate and eGate integration software. "Stop investing in this older software until Sun states its strategy," he urged users.

A Sun spokesman said, until the acquisition was complete, Sun would be unable to reveal any details of how SeeBeyond customers would be supported and the integration with Sun's own Java tools.

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