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Methods & Tools - News, Facts & Comments Edition - October 2007

*** News ***************************************************************

BEA Systems vs Oracle: the Players and the Eventual Winners

The offer made by Oracle ( to buy BEA Systems ( for $17.00 a share (total value $6.6 billion) is one that could change the current landscape of the software development market. Currently BEA Systems' board is refusing the proposal, stating that it undervalues the company and is asking for $21.

What benefits could Oracle achieve with this deal? Technically, it will acquire Web server and transaction monitoring software expertise. Even if Oracle has already its own set of products competing with those of BEA Systems, its technical reputation is a little bit lower in this area. Financially, the acquisition could provide additional revenues, a strategy Oracle has followed these past years with PeopleSoft and other targets. The main objective is to increase the customer base and in this area, Oracle seems to transform itself in a Computer Associates-like company, more driven by financial interests than technical capabilities.

Even if it is only a "mid-size" company, BEA Systems is not a small fish in the software market and there are not many companies that can afford to buy it. So what are the other players that could enter this game? Oracle main competitor, SAP, has just announced the acquisition of Business Objects and is usually looking for more business oriented targets. IBM could be interested, but then there is a large products overlap between the two companies that will make integration difficult. HP could be another possible acquirer, as it is currently trying to increase the software part of its revenues. Its interest will depend on the price to pay and how its current digestion of former acquisitions like Mercury and Peregrine is progressing. Finally, Computer Associates could also jump in the process if the price is right, but this is difficult as BEA Systems has not released audited financial figures for a long time, due to stock option issues.

In the winners side of this situation, we could certainly find IBM and JBoss, as uncertainty about the future of a company is always a topic that buyers will consider when the look for a Web server. Losers will be BEA Systems customers, because company executives will be distracted by the battle. A change of ownership always rises questions on the future roadmap of the products and the availability of knowledgeable people to provide some support.

There are many probabilities that the following actions of Oracle proposal will be on the financial area. It will be interesting to see if BEA Systems shareholders will resist selling their shares and if Oracle will slightly increase its price so that everybody could look satisfied at the end. Hint: Oracle rarely takes "no" for a correct answer to its bids.


* M&T Industry Press Releases Channel

You can view the last product and company press releases from software development tools vendors on

*** Numbers ************************************************************

* Low Maintenance Period

Our last poll wanted to know what percentage of your software development budget was devoted to maintenance. Maintenance is defined as the process of correcting, enhancing and optimising deployed software. Here are the answers:

25% or less of the budget 37%
26% to 50% of the budget 27%
51% to 75% of the budget 24%
more than 75% of the budget 12%

Number of participants: 433

Click here to read our comments about these numbers and get additional resources


* Evaluating agile adoption

Our current poll wants to know at what stage is the adoption of agile methods (XP, Scrum, FDD, etc.) in your organisation.

Go to our Poll section to participate and to see intermediate results.

You can also see the results of a similar poll conducted at the beginning of 2005.

*** Books **************************************************************

* Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk

As a software developer, you know that one of the critical period in a project is when you try to make integrate your code in the overall application and push it towards the final user. It is sometimes a long process that you would like to accelerate so that you could obtain a quicker feedback on the quality of your code. This book written by Paul Duvall, with Steve Matyas and Andrew Glover, will help you improve the way you build and deliver software.

After a initial presentation of the continuous integration (CI) concepts and objectives, the content of the book goes far beyond the simple "continuous build" aspect to cover all disciplines concerned by CI: risk management, configuration management, database evolution, software testing, inspections, deployment. It is clear that CI is just not installing a suite of tools, but is mainly changing software development practices and process. Each chapter is well structured with practical examples related to real life situations. The book reach also nicely the objective of maintaining a balance between a somewhat tools- and language-neutral position, but still giving enough practical advice so that you could quickly adapt the advice to your own software development environment. Final appendixes give valuable information on CI resources and evaluating available CI tools.

Finally, you can get more and updated information on continuous integration and download book's chapter two from the Web site associated to the book:

Click here to get more details on this book or buy it on

Click here to get more details on this book or buy it on


If you liked the article of Jack Greenfield in our Fall 2007 issue, find more about his knowledge in the following book:

* Software Factories: Assembling Applications with Patterns, Models, Frameworks, and Tools by Jack Greenfield

After introducing Software Factories, the book describes these key enabling technologies in depth, and shows how they can be integrated and applied to support a form of Rapid Application Development (RAD). It then provides a detailed example of a working Software Factory and answers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Readers will gain a better understanding of these technologies, and will learn how to apply them to implement Software Factories within their own organizations.

Click here to get more details on this book or buy it on

Click here to get more details on this book or buy it on

*** Conferences ********************************************************

* Model Driven Development - Expert Workshops 7. - 8. November 2007, Zug, Switzerland

We invite you to take part in Expert Workshops "Effective Use Cases" and "Agile Modeling with UML" with the world renowned UML GURU Bruce Powel Douglass in Switzerland in November 2007 powered by EVOCEAN, a company focusing on Model Driven Development Services. Please find more info under:


* EclipseWorld 2007 November 6-8 2007, Reston, VA, USA

Whether you’re building Java applications for IBM WebSphere, developing applications using the Eclipse RCP, or collaborating on an open-source project, if you use Eclipse, you should attend EclipseWorld 2007, November 6-8, 2007 in the Washington D.C area. Over 70 technical classes and tutorials focus on techniques and practices to teach you how to build better software using Eclipse. Register Today!


* International PHP Conference November 4-7 2007, Frankfurt, Germany

PHP experts arriving from more than 20 countries will come together at the International PHP Conference in Frankfurt (Germany) from 4 to 7 November, 2007. Since its inception in 2001, the IPC has made history as one of the elite conferences concerning PHP around the globe. With a sophisticated conference program the IPC provides the ideal platform for endless learning and networking possibilities. JOIN THE COMMUNITY!


* ProjectWorld & the World Congress for Business Analysts Flagship
November 13-16, 2007, Anaheim, CA – Disneyland Hotel

Collaborate to Accelerate Organizational Performance and ROI. This event will help you better communicate the significant of building business value and organizational excellence TOGETHER.


* XP Days Benelux 2007, November 15-16, Mechelen Belgium

In the tradition of the XP Day conferences, XP Day Benelux 2007 is a two day conference on all things agile for business and technical people from all walks of life. This year's edition will be held in Mechelen, Belgium on November 15th and 16th.


* Agile Development Practices Conference December 3-6 2007, Orlando, USA

New Agile Development Practices Conference - Coming to Orlando Don't miss the chance to attend the first conference for software professionals investigating or implementing agile development practices, processes, technologies, and leadership principles. Explore the latest trends in agile development approaches.


* EuroSTAR 2007 3-6 December 2007, Stockholm, Sweden

The 15th EuroSTAR conference on Software Testing Analysis & Review takes place this year during 3-6 December in Stockholm, Sweden. EuroSTAR is Europe's premier software testing conference, bringing together many of the world's greatest testing minds. An action packed four days of professional training awaits you at EuroSTAR 2007.

*** M&T News ***********************************************************

* New Software Quality Assurance Portal

The Software Quality Assurance Zone is a repository for resources concerning software testing (unit testing, functional testing, regression testing, load testing), code review and inspection, bug and defect tracking, continuous integration. The content consists of articles, news, press releases, quotations, books reviews and links to articles, Web sites, tools, blogs, conferences and other elements concerning software quality assurance. Feel free to contribute with your own articles, links or press releases.


* Future Issues of Methods & Tools

In future issues, you will find articles on:

  • Requirements for Outsourcing
  • Type of Reviews
  • Metrics for Code Review
  • UML versus Domain Specific Modelling
  • Exploratory Testing
  • OpenUP


The content of this publication cannot be reproduced without prior written consent of the publisher
Copyright (C) 2007, Martinig & Associates

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