Progress Software Acquires DataDirect

Progress is paying $88 million to purchase all the assets and certain subsidiaries of the standards-based data access software provider.

Progress Software Corp. opened its wallet late last week to the amount of $88 million to purchase all the assets and certain subsidiaries of DataDirect Technologies Ltd., a standards-based data access software provider.

DataDirects revenue projected this year and ending in April 2004 is forecasted to reach the low $40 million range, according to Bud Robertson, chief financial officer of Progress, in Bedford, Mass. The deal was unanimously approved by the board of directors from each company and is expected to close within 60 days, subject to usual regulatory approvals.

Ed Peters, president and CEO of DataDirect, in Rockville, Md., said coming under Progress Softwares ownership will allow his company to accelerate its development surrounding XML, specifically within areas of XQuery, data access via XQuery, and building upon its recent ADO.NET offering.

Still awaiting ratification as an official standard, XQuery is designed to be a language in which queries are concise and easily understood, according to the World Wide Web Consortium. The XQuery language has enough flexibility to query a wide array of XML information sources, including databases and documents.

Since Progress Software has been a user of DataDirects data connectivity technology for some time, Steve McClure, research vice president in IDCs Software Research Group in Framingham, Mass., said integration hurdles will not be a factor in the marriage between the companies.

DataDirects software offers application developers a means to get direct access to data across disparate databases and platforms using standards such as ODBC and JDBC, among others.

"[DataDirect is] inside an awful lot of peoples software. I think in addition to getting their own source for that class of software … [the acquisition] allows Progress to provide some help to a newly acquired business unit," McClure said.