However, I believe Software AG is missing still a huge potential combing the legacy of the mainframe application platform and the integration and BPM centric new world of webMethods. Actually, we had a very controversial debate among the leading Forrester analysts, if it would make sense for them to become a full application development platform. Software AG and Progress Software have both a similar heritage. They have both mainframe based full application development stacks and some new, but independent integration technology. Demographics tell us that the average CIO who still perceives these companies as application stacks will retire soon. At the same time more and more applications will be delivered in the SaaS style and the corresponding platform market (PaaS) will grow up to $ 15 billion annual revenue by 2016.

Software AG has to evaluate one of the following opportunities to retain market share in the market evolution driven by cloud computing and an ongoing market consolidation of integration and application platforms to merged business process platforms:

  • Give new business logic a home. No matter if this is Java, Natural or any other process driven 4GL. The Otherwise Software AG’s install base will retire its Natural/Adabas stack over time.
  • Move in the cloud. The market shifts from single tenant large enterprise infrastructure to multi-tenant/single-instance platforms in the cloud. Process driven 4GL languages are coming up again.

No question that the creation of a full blown middleware and application stack was even a major effort for Oracle with 11g and could be hardly funded by Software AG in its current form. The company failed already on its first trail to create a new application platform with a widely unsuccessful product called Bolero 15 years ago. But, this time Software AG has the Bolero lessons learnt, now combined with an competitive marketing, M&A experience and an solid install base; a strong potential to leverage for the next webMethods release.

Let me know what’s your new enterprise or cloud application platform looks like and leave a comment.