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Friday, April 01, 2005

Oblix- A Vital Addition To Oracle

Identity-management technology becomes significant as more businesses seek to open parts of their computer systems to partners, suppliers and temporary employees without compromising security. This can be used to set policies that allow selective access and regularize access maintenance centrally also called federated ID management. Oracle gets a few good customers by acquiring Oblix.Federated identity management is a critical element missing in Oracle's product offerings that gets plugged with the Oblix acquisition.

Loosely Coupled writes,SOA management is an important part of the story. Oblix realised sometime back taking a service-oriented approach is a very smart way of handling complex ID management. Oblix was in the process of re-architecting its entire product set as reusable web services to enable being to identity-enable its web services and to service-enable its identity management offering. This is becoming de facto behavior in the identity management sector — probably because it's the only practical way of managing federated identities that straddle multiple security domains. Oracle got to plug the other major hole in its product set, namely the total lack of any policy-based SOA management capabilities.

In an insightful analysis, loosely couled adds,"one of the interesting things about Oracle's move into SOA is that it bought into the upper layers, with its astute purchase of BPEL specialist Collaxa last year, before it had filled in the middle layers. In a sense, it is still working down the stack, because it has now added policy management and monitoring but doesn't have a messaging layer. Expect an acquisition of an ESB vendor or similar to rectify that in the coming months".

Needless to say, this puts a lot more pressure on Oracle's peers. IBM, HP and BEA have all been ambling along without worrying too much about their lack of shipping SOA management products, while CA only just started shipping its product. Now at a stroke Oracle has suddenly swept past them.

My take: Oracle Appserver offering is generally not considered as a leader in the market. With this acquisition, oracle can begin to offer customers, "Identity Management" as a native, built-in component of its J2EE-based middleware platform, enabling provision of identity management as a core element of application development and deployment. While alternate perspectives in the market approach identity management from a system management perspective, most other vendors in the Identity Management space have approached this market from a systems management perspective. Oracle now takes an important position to provide J2EE-based middleware product families with which identity and associated features could be integrated. This may also put to rest oracle's plans to acquire BEA.We can expect a few more acquisitions over the next several months in the race to catch up by others.

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