Seagull Bolsters SOA Strategy with an Acquisition and a Partnership
March 20, 2006 Dan Burger
Seagull Software, with its mission of transforming legacy business applications into service oriented architecture Web services, has acquired assets from Farabi Technology in this area. Seagull now owns all of Farabi’s software products and intellectual property, the Farabi brand name, and the company’s installed base of customers.
Farabi, a Montreal, Canada-based company that specializes in emulation and integration software, has been successful in the OS/400, mainframe, and Windows markets, but in recent years its OS/400 presence has diminished as its Microsoft-friendly emphasis switched to more of a mainframe and Unix orientation. Its flagship product, the HostFront Enterprise Server (HFES), which was last enhanced in July, is designed to provide Host Access and legacy integration. HFES incorporates .NET and COM integration components that open the door for developers to expose legacy data to new applications. Previous versions of HostFront were server-centric and specific to the iSeries, mainframe, and Unix iron on which they ran. In its latest iteration, Version 4.0, HostFront offers concurrent access to iSeries, zSeries, and Unix systems and support for more than 1,000 simultaneous connections from access clients.
In addition to the technology gains, this acquisition will expand Seagull’s presence in Canada and the Middle East, where Farabi enjoyed its greatest success. Officials at Seagull say this will add more than 200 customers to its installed base and provide additional .NET technology and expertise.
Seagull officials say the company plans to maintain Farabi Technology’s Montreal development lab and sales office. It also expects to expand the relationship with its Middle East distributor to include Seagull’s LegaSuite products. LegaSuite is used to connect legacy applications on the iSeries, IBM mainframe, ICL mainframe, Unix, and Windows platforms to the Web, to other middleware, and to newer generations of applications such as portals and customer relationship and supply chain management applications. It is based on open standards including Web services based on XML, J2EE and .NET. Seagull expects to finalizing the acquisition by the end of March.
In another move to bolster its service oriented architecture strategy, Seagull has begun a partnership with Ecensity, a company that produces the Ecensity Presentation Server (EPS), middleware that uses Web services to create customized Web applications and composite applications.
EPS is a presentation layer that includes both an XML Virtual Machine (XVM) and presentation services. It is a key component, Seagull officials say, to speeding the transformation of iSeries and mainframe applications into Web services that can be accessed via a portal.