WebGain to exit tools, Oracle to buy TopLink

Java IDE market up for grabs


ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

WebGain Inc is selling its TopLink Java/database connectivity business to application server wannabe Oracle Corp in a deal that also sees the Java IDE leader exit the tools market,

Gavin Clarke writes

.

A WebGain company source told ComputerWire a deal would be announced during the next few days which would see Redwood Shores, California-based Oracle buy TopLink along with 90 engineering, sales and support staff.

TopLink maps between Enterprise Java Beans (EJBs) and relational databases, speeding both application server performance and increasing developer productivity. The source did not disclose the deal's value but said: "We made a lot of money."

The deal will also means WebGain will halt all development and sales of its market-leading IDEs Visual Café and WebGain Studio - the latest version of which is currently in beta. WebGain hopes the IDEs will be picked-up by the open source community, carrying the product forward.

WebGain will instead support existing versions of its IDEs and live off licensing and intellectual property, the source said.

The company has judged competition in the Java tools market to be too fierce, generating low margins, to continue in-house development. More than half of revenues were ploughed into research and development - manned by 120 staff.

"We are going to stop R&D and give that to the developer community. We will continue to license and support contracts and make some money on that. The operation will become a license business," he said.

"It was more efficient to give the IDE away and sell the base product rather than run a 120-person engineering group who weren't doing anything better than the community."

WebGain has approximately 100,000 users and led the market for Java IDEs in 2000. The company had 22% market share in 2000, $44.7m in revenue, placing it ahead of number two Borland Software Corp on 19% market share and $40m according to IDC. The analyst said it would release new figures for 2001 during the next 60 days.

The news threatens to hurt some partners, especially San Jose, California-based BEA Systems Inc. webGain has partnered on WebLogic Workshop, due in July, and supports WebLogic Application Server providing an end-to-end development environment boasting Java Server Page support, Unified Modeling Language, XML authoring and quality testing in WebStudio 4.5.2. BEA was unable to comment.

WebGain is believed to have been in internal discussion for several months over how to carry its business forward. The company modeled approximately 40 scenarios but - like all Java tools vendors - has been squeezed by reduced corporate spending power. The source said webGain was in danger of becoming split as an IDE and runtime business - with TopLink - while the majority of research and development went into IDEs.

WebGain's Oracle deal developed after the database giant approached the ISV about a TopLink reseller deal some six months ago. WebGain felt its long-term future was threatened by such a deal, as Oracle was expected to develop its own competitor to TopLink and edge webGain out of the market.

An Oracle spokesperson said she was unaware of any deal and webGain was unavailable for contact at time of going to press.

© ComputerWire. All rights reserved.


Other stories you might like

  • Robotics and 5G to spur growth of SoC industry – report
    Big OEMs hogging production and COVID causing supply issues

    The system-on-chip (SoC) side of the semiconductor industry is poised for growth between now and 2026, when it's predicted to be worth $6.85 billion, according to an analyst's report. 

    Chances are good that there's an SoC-powered device within arm's reach of you: the tiny integrated circuits contain everything needed for a basic computer, leading to their proliferation in mobile, IoT and smart devices. 

    The report predicting the growth comes from advisory biz Technavio, which looked at a long list of companies in the SoC market. Vendors it analyzed include Apple, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, TSMC, Toshiba, and more. The company predicts that much of the growth between now and 2026 will stem primarily from robotics and 5G. 

    Continue reading
  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022