Progress Software Acquires Iona

With Iona in the fold, Progress becomes a bigger SOA player.

In something of a surprise, Progress Software announced June 25 that it is buying Iona Technologies for about $162 million.

Iona's board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction, and each Iona Technologies director has entered into an agreement to vote in favor of the deal.

Although it was no secret that Iona was up for sale, over the last few weeks the rumor was that Red Hat was courting the SOA (service-oriented architecture) and middleware specialist. However, apparently Red Hat was not even among the serious contenders for the business.

The move gives Progress more ammunition in the battle for SOA mind share and market share, as Iona has a deep history of participation and support for standards in the Web services and SOA space.

Progress provides application infrastructure software for the development, deployment, integration and management of business applications. The company has maintained a focus on SOA deployments with its Sonic Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), as well as SOA management and governance tools.

Through its Artix product line, Iona delivers Web standards-based integration technologies for SOA development. The company also offers open-source SOA integration components through its Fuse product line. Moreover, for 15 years, Iona has been the industry leader in CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) integration technology, which has been used in mission-critical IT systems of some of the world's largest companies.

Joseph Alsop, co-founder and CEO of Progress, said in a statement:

""We are proud to inherit Iona's long history and reputation for developing some of the industry's most respected and well-recognized technology for integrating mission-critical systems, often involving hundreds of applications and millions of transactions per day over diverse IT environments. We certainly expect to benefit by enhancing and extending these customer relationships and by leveraging Iona technology within products across our SOA portfolio. Iona products are very complementary to what Progress offers today and Iona customers can rest assured that Progress is committed to the same high standards of support, product quality, and performance.""

The deal is expected to close in September.