We opened the week with the acquisition of Atalasoft by Kofax, we close it with the acquisition of Terracotta by Software AG (news, site), Europe’s fourth largest company. With Terracotta, Software AG will make its business process management platform more scalable, and hopes, in the medium term, to use Terracotta’s Big Data processing to enter the Platform-as-a-Service market.

This is another deal where the financial details haven’t been disclosed, but it does underline, first, Software AG’s commitment to continued development of its BPM software, and, second, the ongoing move to the cloud by companies looking to make their applications more accessible.


The acquisition of Terracotta adds computing power to Software AG's already considerable stack.

Terracotta provides a solution to cluster Java Virtual Machine (JVM) by introducing specific code in Java applications at runtime as classes are being loaded. The process is much like that of VMWare or SpringSource products.

In 2009 it bought Ehcache, which provided caching solutions that have been implemented into other Java-based products.

So following Software AG's announcement at CeBIT earlier this year that it was combining two of its flagship products to produce one mega-business process management product called Enterprise BPM, Big Data in-memory seems like a logical step, especially if you’re aiming to move to the cloud.

Enterprise BPM consists of the integration of Software AG’s business process analysis platform called ARIS, and its business-to-business server and SOA-based integration platform webMethods.

Software AG, the Cloud

Terracotta’s in-memory processing, Software AG says, will provide the foundation technology for Software AG’s cloud offerings, offering data access up to 1000 times faster than database access.

With the new technology, it hopes to offer its client base, which will be  extended by Terracotta anyway -- Terracotta says there are 500,000 deployments of its technology worldwide -- considerably larger business process management abilities by the end of this year, as well as complex event processing, mobile technology, cloud distribution and virtualization.

The integration of Terracotta’s technology with our product portfolio is a major step in ensuring that our customers can fully benefit from the convergence of cloud computing, the mobile web, complex event processing and real-time, multi-party collaboration through unprecedented levels of performance and scalability,” said Software AG CTO Wolfram Jost

Also perhaps worth noting is that this is the first time that Software AG has entered the open source domain and adds a large and important open source community.

But that’s not where it stops. Software AG, in the medium term, while not going into it in any great detail, says that the added ability to scale and process large data load across modular, geographically dispersed architectures will transform the company into a PaaS provider.

While there is no time scale on this, the company says it is hoping to offer its first PaaS sometime in 2012, with the first Software AG and Terracotta combined products before that, by the end of this year.