Andy on Enterprise Software

Method in its madness

August 22, 2006

Webmethods joined in the metadata/master data party through acquiring the assets of Cerebra, a company who brought “active metadata” technology to the market in 2001 but had struggled to make much market impact.  As one of the pioneers of EAI technology, Webmethods makes a logical enough home for Cerebra, whose financial results are not known but whose website shows that it last managed a press release in March 2006. 

Webmethods itself has managed to stabilise its position after some difficult years.  At revenues of USD 201M it is a large company, but over the last five years it has averaged a new loss of over 12% of revenues.  Even its last year, where it managed a small profit, represents a shrinking of revenue by nearly 4% over the prior year.  The stockmarket has not been impressed, marking down the share price of Webmethods by 11% over the last 3 months.

Still, in principle Webmethods ought to be able to make good use of the Cerebra technology, since active discovery of corporate metadata is something that is quite relevant to EAI projects. Given Tibco’s entry into the area some time ago it perhaps only surprising how long it has taken them.  Whether this will be enough to revive Webmethods’ fortunes remains to be seen.

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