SpringSource Acquires Covalent

The deal will enable SpringSource to grow its capabilities in offering support and services for Apache software.

Open-source software maker SpringSource is buying Covalent Technologies, an open-source services provider specializing in supporting Apache software solutions.

SpringSource created the Spring Framework, a lightweight enterprise Java development framework. The company's acquisition of Covalent, announced Jan. 29, brings together two open-source market leaders and addresses widespread demand for a simplified application infrastructure based on the Spring Portfolio and Apache projects such as the Apache Tomcat application server, said Rod Johnson, CEO of SpringSource and a co-author of the Spring Framework. The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal, although it is apparent SpringSource is putting some of the $10 million in venture funding it received last year to use.

Charlie Purdom, vice president of marketing at Covalent, said his company offers services and support for Apache Software Foundation ( ASF) open-source projects.

"This is a pretty natural step, as we've seen a recent rise in the use of Tomcat with Spring components," Johnson said. "This is a significant move in recognition of the ways in which enterprise Java is changing. It's a natural step to our becoming the leading provider of enterprise Java products and services."

Johnson said SpringSource will aggressively push forward with its support for both Apache and Eclipse Foundation projects. The company is growing more involved in Eclipse, with support for projects such as AspectJ, Mylyn and others, he said. Company officials have said SpringSource will have a strong presence at the EclipseCon show in March.

Now SpringSource has acquired some of the top talent in support of Apache technologies.

"With respect to Tomcat and other Apache projects, we're also making an ongoing investment in some of the other Apache projects," Johnson said.

"There are synergies between Tomcat and Spring, and we envision other projects including the Apache HTTP Web server" that can benefit from the investment SpringSource has made in Covalent, Purdom said.

"We see Apache code being used by many of our customer accounts-the Apache Web server, Tomcat, Web services frameworks, Active MQ and a slew of other Apache technologies," Johnson said. "We see pent-up demand for services from folks using Spring and Apache technologies."

Covalent will become a division of SpringSource, and the Covalent brand will continue to exist. Covalent CEO Mark Brewer will become part of the SpringSource management team, joining the company as vice president and general manager of the new SpringSource Covalent business unit. In addition, Covalent employees who worked in the company's Walnut Creek, Calif., offices will now work out of the San Mateo, Calif., offices of SpringSource, Purdom said.

Johnson said he expects that SpringSource's worldwide presence will enable the Covalent business to grow significantly as the business unit gains access to new markets. He said that bringing Covalent engineers into SpringSource will help the company deliver on some of the subscription offerings SpringSource announced late last year.