IBM investments: Telelogic acquisition finalized; EnterpriseDB gets backing

Almost a year after making its original $745M offer, IBM completed its buy of Telelogic AB in early April, and plans to play a larger role in the software development aspects of product life-cycle management (PLM). Under the deal, Telelogic will be folded under IBM's Rational software brand, which is known for tools used across all stages of the software development life cycle.


Almost a year after making its original $745M offer, IBM completed its buy of Telelogic AB in early April, and plans to play a larger role in the software development aspects of product life-cycle management (PLM).

Under the deal, Telelogic will be folded under IBM's Rational software brand, which is known for tools used across all stages of the software development life cycle. While Telelogic's products fit the same segment—also called application life-cycle management, or ALM—it targets more complex software development projects. Examples include:

  • DOORS, a tool for managing requirements in large projects;

  • Tau, which enables model-driven development for complex systems;

  • Rhapsody, enabling model-driven development for embedded systems; and

  • System Architect, for managing enterprise architecture.

    • On the strength of Telelogic's high-end offerings, IBM now has a springboard to integrate more closely with PLM solutions. The rationale is that the electronics and software content of highly engineered products—e.g., automobiles, aircraft, and consumer electronics—is increasing rapidly. IBM intends to fill the gap with tools that manage more closely the software development aspects of PLM.

      IBM already has experience integrating and partnering with PLM vendors, including a long-established agreement with Dassault Systemes that brands CATIA as an IBM product.

      Upping the ante in its rivalry with Oracle , IBM recently became a minority investor in EnterpriseDB , an open-source database provider with offerings that emphasize Oracle compatibility. IBM was one of three backers of a $10M third round of financing for the three-year-old vendor.

      EnterpriseDB, founded by some of the former management team of webMethods—now part of Software AG —developed a commercially supported product based on PostgreSQL, a 20-year-old open-source database initially developed by the same Berkeley team that created Ingres. Under EnterpriseDB, extensions were developed for Oracle compatibility, including supports features such as the PL SQL language, stored procedures, and Oracle data types.

      Although, like MySQL, EnterpriseDB is open source, it also claims to be far more scalable, citing the engine's 20-year history and strength in the public and academic sectors. With Oracle feature support, EnterpriseDB has pursued Oracle customers, not for replacing established Oracle installations, but for new workloads such as gaming, entertainment, and e-commerce that supplement them.

      As for IBM, it invented the SQL database in the 1970s, but allowed Oracle to get a jump in claiming leadership in the market. Consequently, while IBM is only a minority investor in EnterpriseDB, its stake gives it a foothold to penetrate the Oracle base—a goal that it has entertained for more than 25 years.

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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

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