BEA Nabs Plumtree For .Net Portfolio

“BEA&s portal software has been their Trojan horse that&s been driving license deals for their other products. It&s been their fastest-growing piece of their suite for the past two years,” said Sam Jankovich, president of Enterpulse, an Atlanta-based solution provider that partners with both BEA and Plumtree. “But BEA&s software lacks things like collaboration, groupware and search. We&ve been building solution frameworks that encapsulate that kind of functionality. So the two coming together is fantastic.”

That kind of synergy is worth $200 million for several reasons, say observers. The first is Plumtree&s longtime emphasis on .Net technology. Recently, the San Francisco company also became J2EE-compliant, making it among the few portal vendors to support both technologies. BEA, San Jose, Calif., has said it intends to embrace both technical underpinnings. “BEA is a year behind Plumtree on the .Net side,” said Jankovich. “This collapses the time line of getting that value to market.”

Nor does it hurt that Plumtree has, over the past year, shifted its messaging away from portals and toward enabling composite applications. That positioning, which works because portals are becoming the preferred method for deploying services-based apps, jibes with BEA&s aggressive move into service-oriented architectures. Earlier this year, the company launched a new AquaLogic product line aimed at supporting that strategy.

“The portal is becoming the point of integration with the enterprise,” BEA CEO Alfred Chuang told analysts last week. “We are aggressively pursuing growth opportunities. This is a clear example of that.”

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The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. When it does, BEA plans to offer both the WebLogic and Plumtree portal lines.