BEA to Acquire Theory Center’s Beans

BEA Systems Inc. ( will acquire The Theory Center (, a privately held software company that has developed a large portfolio of Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs).

Under the terms of the agreement, BEA will pay about $100 million in stock and cash for the company, and integrate The Theory Center's executive management and staff of 42 into BEA's operations.

"This move is as strategic to BEA as the acquisition of WebLogic," says Bill Coleman, chairman and CEO of BEA Systems. "This gives us the most advanced EJB components available for developing e-commerce applications."

The Theory Center's 80 component catalog is built of EJB standards and includes components for customer relationship management (CRM), online order management, product catalogs with pluggable pricing, trouble ticket management, and workflow management.

With the acquisition of The Theory Center, BEA is establishing a new office dedicated to the development of EJB components. "The Theory Center is the cornerstone of our e-commerce strategy," Coleman says. "We can now provide critical benefits such as time to market and the ability to build advanced technology for competitive advantage."

The components will be part of a separate product line that BEA intends to announce this month. While the EJBs will support other application servers, Coleman says The Theory Center has been using WebLogic as the platform for EJBs since it is 100 percent pure Java.