Pair Merge to Fight Buggy Code

Geodesic and InCert will merge their two companies to take on applications availability problems from two perspectives.

A pair of small application availability management companies on Tuesday will announce their merger plans in a united front to fight buggy applications code.

Geodesic Systems Inc. and InCert Software Corp. signed an agreement to merge their two companies to take on applications availability problems from two perspectives.

Geodesic, a Chicago-based company, provides software that prevents applications from crashing. InCert, of Cambridge, Mass., markets software that acts like a jets flight recorder, capturing all of an applications activities leading up to a crash, allowing the data to be analyzed by the application developer for the purpose of finding and fixing the bug.

Both companies address a costly problem in dealing with buggy applications software. "Even if you had perfect testing, that would only solve a quarter of the problem," said Michael Spertus, chief technology officer and co-founder of Geodesic. "And its not just about inadequate testing. The idea of deploying fault-free programs isnt realistic with todays technology."

The merged company will retain Geodesics name and headquarters in Chicago.

Geodesic provides a robust run-time environment that reports on a number of errors and fixes many of the common ones on the fly. Such fixable problems include memory leaks.

The Geodesic Run Time System provides a level of fault tolerance in production applications, while InCerts Halo and Traceback tools provide applications debugging capabilities in the field.

When programs crash, the InCert tools record the events leading up to the crash and then create a package of the data that is transferred using standard File Transfer Protocol software to the software vendor or internal developer. Engineers can open the package using a debugger and play back the events in the lab. The tools support C, C++, Visual Basic, Java and Java 2 Enterprise Edition.

"Between the two, application faults are dealt with by being protected against, and then the complete information for figuring out what went wrong is gathered without impinging on production resources," said Spertus.

Spertus believes the merger, expected to be completed in the next 30 days, moves the two companies from being tactical tools providers to a single strategic solutions provider solving business problems for large enterprises.

Although both companies have been in the market for some time, they are not significant players, despite the compelling technology they offer, according to Corey Ferengul, analyst with Meta Group Inc. in Chicago. Both companies "fit well" together and hold greater promise together, Ferengul believes.

Spertus would not reveal the value of the merger deal.