?"> Said Suns Schwartz, "Whats very obvious to us is software is the leading edge of large-scale revenue opportunities going forward." But Sun is not leaving behind its partnership mentality. "Well continue to partner with a diversity of industry participants, especially those with vertical market expertise," he said. "But whats become evident is customers want a platform approach." Added McNealy, "[Sun] is not the hot chips company that the old engineering workstation world is all aboutwe can still do that, but thats not going to be the lead warhead." Neil Ward-Dutton, a partner at Macehiter Ward-Dutton, an analyst firm in Cambridge, United Kingdom, said, "This is a highly significant move for Sun, and for the enterprise software industry. SeeBeyond is one of very few specialist integration software players which survived the post-dot-com market contraction at a significant sizethe others are BEA, WebMethods and Tibco.""SeeBeyonds technology is powerful and well-liked amongst its customer base, and should prove a very useful asset as Sun continues to strive to improve its enterprise software credentials, and plug the holes in its Java Enterprise System offering."But Ward-Dutton offered some advice to Sun, including: "Please learn from past acquisition successes and failuresfollow the model you used for Waveset and ensure that key management stay in place; dont let the organization dissolve as you did with Forte Software, Kiva and NetDynamics. Consider keeping the core of the organization separate from those responsible for the Java Enterprise System." And: "SeeBeyond is an integration specialist, and a big part of its ability to deliver value comes from its lack of bias. Please dont restrict the ability of SeeBeyond to deploy to platforms other than Solariskeep all environments on a level playing field." Sun has introduced an early-access program for developer tools. Click here to read more. Jason Bloomberg, an analyst at Waltham, Mass.-based ZapThink LLC, said, "Sun and SeeBeyond have complementary product lines and similar philosophies, so the acquisition is a good fit in that sense." "Sun, however, has had a spotty track record for acquisitions, and SeeBeyonds market for tightly coupled, single-platform EAI is rapidly disappearing. The two companies have ostensibly been committed to SOA for a while now, but both firms centered their SOA efforts on Javas write once, run anywhere portability value proposition, which is fundamentally at odds with SOAs interoperability-centric value prop. "The combination of the two companies, therefore, is shaping up as a dumb and dumber approach to SOA, as competing vendors like BEA and Sonic Software hammer out solutions that better address the agility and heterogeneity needs of todays enterprises." Mark Stahlman, an analyst at New York-based Caris & Co., was big on the deal, reiterating a "buy" rating on the company after having praised Suns news on Monday regarding getting IBM to renew its Java license and to port its WebSphere middleware to Solaris. "We think this is quite important," Stahlman said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.