Informix Buys Cloudscape

Informix Corp. has waded into the embedded and remote database markets -- where many of its competitors already have products -- with an agreement to purchase Cloudscape Inc. (www.cloudscape.com).

Under a definitive agreement announced last month, the database giant will absorb privately held Cloudscape for 10 million shares, at a cost of about $85 million. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Cloudscape, based in Oakland, Calif., has 50 employees and about 250 customers for its data management system. The system is written in Java and includes application and data synchronization technology and one-click deployment and refresh capability.

Informix lagged behind Sybase Inc., IBM Corp., Oracle Corp. and Microsoft Corp. by not having a mobile database product. The company’s overall share of the Windows NT database market has been eroding, although the company’s financial performance has been improving lately.

Jean-Yves Dexmier, president and CEO of Informix, positioned the move as helping the company’s push to Web-enable all its products. "The combination of Informix Internet Foundation.2000 with Cloudscape’s portable database and synchronization technologies creates the only solution that exploits the power of the Internet to address the market requirements for distributed e-business," Dexmier said in a statement.

Also last month, Informix unveiled new releases of Informix Red Brick Decision Server 6.0 -- based on Informix’s acquisition of data warehousing pioneer Red Brick Systems -- Informix Extended Parallel Server 8.3 and Informix Decision Solution Suite.

Informix Red Brick Decision Server is available this month and is designed for business intelligence solutions where data resides in a star schema. Extended Parallel Server is targeted at the top 2,000 global companies addressing business problems too complex for star-schema representations.

The Informix Decision Solution Suite is being released for use in vertical markets. A telecommunications package and a financial services offering are available. Upcoming packages include retail, Internet marketing, performance management, marketing automation and enterprise applications.

Informix’s 1998 revenue was about $735 million.