Red Hat To Acquire Enterprise Mobile Development Firm

Red Hat Inc., known for its open source enterprise software products such as Linux, is acquiring FeedHenry Ltd. to add enterprise mobile application development to its hybrid cloud portfolio.

FeedHenry, headquartered in Ireland, specializes in helping development teams collaboratively extend company systems to take advantage of the unique capabilities of mobile devices with its cloud-based, development and management platform.

Red Hat said the FeedHenry technology will add enterprise mobility capabilities to its JBoss Middleware and OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings.

"FeedHenry has an open and extensible architecture based on Node.js for client and server-side mobile app development," Red Hat said in a statement. "The FeedHenry platform offers developers the flexibility to create native (Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry), hybrid, HTML5 or Web apps. The platform supports a wide variety of popular toolkits including native SDKs, hybrid Apache Cordova, HTML5 and Titanium, as well as frameworks such as Xamarin, Sencha Touch and other JavaScript frameworks."

The FeedHenry platform.
[Click on image for larger view.] The FeedHenry platform.(source: FeedHenry Ltd.)

In addition to mobile app development, the FeedHenry platform also provides security functionality, policy management, synchronization and integration features to support those apps.

The move comes a year after Red Hat announced that its "vision is to expand the availability of its technologies as services on OpenShift, widening the pathway for enterprises and developers to create, integrate and manage applications and business processes in the cloud."

The FeedHenry platform supports many cloud deployment options, and Red Hat indicated in a FAQ that it expects to keep multiple deployment options available while expanding the platform's support of and integration with Red Hat's OpenShift and OpenStack offerings.

Red Hat also noted its practice of open sourcing acquired technology and indicated that would probably happen with FeedHenry's platform, also.

"Many of the core building blocks that we use are open source including Linux, Node.js and Apache Cordova," said FeedHenry CTO Micheal O'Foghlu in a blog post that featured him wearing a bright red hat. "Red Hat is the leading enterprise open source company in the world, and has blazed a trail over the past two decades since the first Linux distribution of that name was launched by Marc Ewing in 1994. On a personal note, my own computing history is one based on early GNU open source software in the 1980s, followed by an enthusiastic adoption of Linux and the Web ecosystem. Red Hat has been a pillar of innovation in this shifting world."

FeedHenry started out in 2010 as a spin-out from the Telecommunications Software and Systems Group at the Waterford Institute of Technology. It employs 65 people and counts among its customers VMware, Diageo, Network Rail and other companies.

"The mobile application platform is one of the fastest-growing segments of the enterprise software market," said Red Hat exec Craig Muzilla in a statement. "As mobile devices have penetrated into every aspect of enterprise computing, enterprise software customers are looking for easier and more efficient ways for their developers to build mobile applications that extend and enhance traditional enterprise applications. FeedHenry will help us enable customers to take advantage of the capabilities of mobile with the security, scalability and reliability of Red Hat enterprise software."

The acquisition, pending final approval, is expected to be finalized in the third quarter of fiscal year 2015.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.