Back in December, 2002, I wrote up the rationale for an Oracle acquisition of BEA. The deal finally seems like it may be happening. Oddly, when I proposed it then, I was accused by Oracle’s analyst relations department of being “unprofessional” for having the temerity to suggest it. And while the specific individual who threw that tantrum is long gone, I haven’t talked all that much with Oracle’s core server groups since … but I digress.
Actually, the logic of an Oracle/BEA deal now isn’t much different from what it was way back then. One exception is that in the intervening half-decade Oracle has acquired a formidable amount of experience in integrating large and/or technically overlapping acquisitions. Technically, however, the story remains pretty much the same. Oracle’s app server and BEA Weblogic do pretty similar things, more or less compliant to standards, only with different add-on functionality. And BEA’s most important add-ons are in an area — integration with outside applications — where Oracle has long needed to improve.