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Oracle picks up e-TEST suite from Empirix



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March 27, 2008 —  Web applications are growing in importance, and Oracle shored up its application testing Test suite of products from Empirix. The plan calls for the company to incorporate the technology into Oracle Enterprise Manager and Oracle Real Application Testing, according to the announcement.

With the deal, Oracle gains ownership of, rather than offering through a partnership, a software tool it needs to improve the limited database-focused testing capabilities in Real Application Testing, said an industry analyst.

The e-Test suite is made up of the e-Manager Enterprise tool for test process management, e-Tester for functional and regressive testing, and e-Load, for measuring scalability under a variety of loading and performance conditions.

As Oracle pursues its SOA-based architecture and Fusion middleware strategies, it needs to offer an effective life-cycle management portfolio for software quality control and change management, said Melinda-Carol Ballou, program director for application life-cycle management research at IDC. “The [e-Test] acquisition could be a step in that direction.

“Oracle and SAP customers customize the heck out of their solutions, so they need to be able to be able to make sure that those customizations work,” Ballou said.

Although Empirix brings Oracle important testing tools, the latter may need to make other acquisitions to augment change management and version control capabilities that it currently offers through partners, she added.

Until the deal is closed, Empirix will continue to operate its Web application business in a business-as-usual mode—or as near as possible. Other Empirix product lines are unaffected by the announcement.

Oracle did not disclose the terms of the transaction.

In order to advance Oracle's evolution towards a SOA-based architecture and advance its Fusion strategy, the company must present an effective services life-cycle management strategy, both for quality and change management, said Ballou.

The transition to Oracle ownership may be smooth for the majority of Empirix’s 685 enterprise customers, of whom 400 are already Oracle customers. Oracle’s Enterprise Manager 10g suite, into which e-TEST will be added, is used by 21,000 customers worldwide.

System integrators stand to benefit because they will be able to offer a single vendor to address testing and other application lifecycle needs, according to Oracle’s presentation to Empirix customers and partners. The e-Test product line will benefit as well, from access to Oracle’s US$2 billion research and development budget.

Empirix will continue to market its OneSight line of Web site monitoring tools that track the performance of Web applications, manage user transactions and detect changes that could affect performance. Another major business line Empirix retains is the Hammer series, which monitor applications delivered over VoIP or IP Multimedia Subsystem networks.

This story was written with contributions from P.J. Connolly.






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