Software AG buys Progress Software’s CEP unit Apama

Software AG has announced its intention to acquire Apama, the UK-born complex event processing (CEP) company, from its current owner Progress Software.

Apama was founded in 1999 by two Cambridge University computer scientists, Dr John Bates and Dr Giles Fraser. Its technology, which identifies and analyses pre-defined "events" in streams of data, is used primarily in the capital markets sector to track market patterns.

The addition of Apama will help customers "gain maximum value from real-time business data in any business area where sub-second response times to events are critical; such as fraud detection, capital markets trading or customer experience management," said Software AG in a statement.

"In addition, Apama CEP will enable customers to fully design, test, monitor and control the industrial Internet to a new level of precision and at a new level of intelligence," it added, invoking a buzzword popularised by General Electric.

Apama was acquired by Progress Software in 2005, and Bates has been the US company's chief technology officer ever since. In that role, he was one of the architects of a strategy to position Progress as a "responsive process management" provider, selling real-time data processing infrastructure to enterprise clients. 

In April last year, Progress abandoned that strategy amid falling revenues and mounting shareholder dissatisfaction. It has since shifted its focus to become a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) to independent software vendors.

According to Forrester Research analyst Stefan Ried, Software AG's challenge is to achieve with Apama what Progress failed to do – successfully integrate CEP into its middleware portfolio.

"Until the recent refocus and divestment from multiple acquired products, Progress Software was pretty much ran like a portfolio company with very little integration between the different products," he wrote today. "In contract to this, Software AG's acquisitions over the last five years have been very closely integrated into the existing middleware stack.

"If Software AG does the same with Apama, it will be of huge benefit for customers facing hybrid integration scenarios."

The acqusition is good news for Apama customers, Ried added, because it gives the platform a guaranteed future.

Earlier this week, rival middleware vendor TIBCO announced the acquisition of event stream processing supplier StreamBase.

Speaking to Information Age today, TIBCO marketing director Ivan Casanova said that the StreamBase acquisition allows the company to enhance its complex event processing (CEP) suite by incorporate streams of data such a stock ticker prices, website click stream and social media messages.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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