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Progress Software

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Progress Software

  1. 1. Progress Software Description Description Progress Software, headquartered in Bedford, MA, provides a broad range of service-oriented architecture (SOA) infrastructure products focusing on developing, deploying, integrating, and managing business applications. Founded in 1981, the company trades on the NASDAQ under the symbol PRGS. Progress reported that for the twelve months ending November 30, 2006, revenue increased 10 percent to $447 million from $405 million in fiscal 2005. Headquartered in Bedford Massachusetts, the company has more than 1,600 employees with worldwide headquarters in The Netherlands, Florida (in support of Central America) and Australia. More... The company offers enterprise software infrastructure products which include the Sonic, Actional, DataXtend, and Apama product families. These focus on integration infrastructure and SOA management, specifically in the area of messaging and orchestration (Sonic), Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) and governance (Actional), data integration (DataXtend) and Complex Event Processing (CEP) (Apama). The company also provides a host of unique but complementary application development products including DataDirect and the OpenEdge service-oriented business application platform. The company also markets an object-oriented database (ObjectStore), natural language search and e-commerce tools (EasyAsk) and mainframe integration solution (Shadow). Progress has clients across many industries, including the financial services, government, telecommunications, retail and manufacturing verticals, and it counts over 60,000 customer installations in organizations including British Airport Authority (BAA), Charles River Development, BT, Rotech, Autotrader, Boehringer Ingelheim, California ISO, First Command, Sharper Image, Telecom Italia, Tarrant County Texas, Expedia, Boeing, and Ameriquest. New and expanded Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) customer wins include BAA, American Red Cross, Expedia, H&M and the Great American Insurance Group. Network Statistics for Progress Software Statistics updated quarterly as reported by the company. Q4 2006 Markets/Sales Strategy
  2. 2. Markets/Sales Strategy Progress has parlayed its enterprise SOA, data integration, and application development toolset strengths to sell deeply into Fortune 100 (80% of the Fortune 100 use Progress solutions) through a direct sales force. The company draws on systems integrators such as Adea, Online Business Systems, BearingPoint, and Accenture to help sell and implement its solutions, and it maintains its own strategic services staff. It maintains an active ISV application partner program with 2,000 members, which sell more than 5,000 applications. More... Progress derives approximately 54% of its sales outside North America. As of Q4 2006, software licenses make up about 41% of sales, while service and maintenance is 59%. In the U.S., the company sells its ESB, data integration, and SOA management product lines mainly through the Progress Enterprise Infrastructure sales force; internationally, it draws on the broader Progress Software sales force and Application Partner channels. Progress has a presence in over 25 countries, and additionally has distributors in over 40 countries outside North America. Current Market Market Market Momentum Vision Perspective Tier Status Summary Analytical Summary We are taking a positive stance on Progress, as it leverages its successful Sonic ESB and enterprise messaging products to expand into the general SOA market through its Actional, DataXtend, Shadow and Apama product families. With deep Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) functionality and enterprise-class management and event processing tools, Progress challenges established Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and middleware platform players with standards-based technology, aggressive pricing, and features geared toward the next generation of SOA solutions. The company boasts more than 350 successful SOA deployments to date. More importantly, the company’s DataXtend data integration and transformation tools are able to work in concert with Sonic, Actional, Shadow and Apama to create a solution base spanning data integration, process integration and mainframe integration. Of note is the company’s best-in-class product approach. Progress products can be sold and run independently, which allows the company to sell into existing SOA deployments, providing point solutions as needed, such as CEP, BAM or various data integration requirements. For example, the company’s Actional product, which can monitor both short-running synchronous and long-running asynchronous
  3. 3. business transactions, can work directly with application servers from IBM, Oracle, JBoss, and BEA. More... One of Progress’ main SOA products is its Sonic ESB offering, which combines a bus and a framework for incorporating service endpoints in a secure fashion onto a standards-based communication backbone. Version 7 of its flagship Sonic ESB product includes a unified Eclipse development interface called Sonic Workbench, and availability options through an underlying messaging engine (SonicMQ). This includes a low-overhead option that speeds performance while providing fault-tolerance. Progress has bolstered its SOA integration portfolio with the integration of Actional’s runtime SOA monitoring and governance software. Under the Progress Actional product line, Progress can ensure services, including those run on other platforms, are up and running with expected performance and security, and provides runtime enforcement at either the service or business process level. Progress also supports mainframe customers through technology acquired from NEON Systems (Shadow product line) in December 2005. Progress has recently made inroads within the burgeoning telco space, in particular, working with IBM’s Global Services group to introduce DataXtend Semantic Integrator into the telecom vertical. Progress goes to market with a very feature-rich ESB and enabling SOA technologies. However, this notion has been co-opted by a wide range of vendors, including traditional EAI vendors and middleware stack vendors who have picked up on the ESB moniker. These middleware stack players (Oracle, BEA, SAP, Sun, etc.) can bring a broader range of tools beyond an application server, development tools, BAM, CEP, etc. to bear on a project. On the other end of the scale, Sonic faces a threat from lightweight ESBs, with much less functionality, including “free” open source ESBs for a number of players such as Red Hat’s JBoss, Sun’s Open ESB, and IONA’s Celtix. In all, Progress has positioned itself as a strong integration vendor with numerous SOA-scale capabilities that will appeal to enterprises focusing on both data and Web service integration. The company is a solid competitor on price and scalability compared with even larger vendors such as IBM and BEA. But to truly compete in the SOA market, Progress will need to continue to merge BPM/BAM with process orchestration and web service design and testing. It must also add or integrate SOA point-solutions including a portal and UDDI registry/repository. Strengths & Weaknesses Strengths • Progress is an established provider of integration products with a heavy slant toward ESB styles of integration. Its core SOA products in this space
  4. 4. are its Java-based Sonic and Actional process monitoring and management tools, and its DataXtend semantic data integration tools. These products come at a low cost (Sonic ESB starts at $10,000 per CPU, for example), and provides a number of features to help customers build and manage an enterprise-grade SOA in a highly distributed environment. More... • Progress' Sonic and Actional products span a wide range of software architectures, supporting a wide array of emerging WS-* standards and other interoperability features, focusing on platform support for Microsoft Vista and .NET. For example, the company natively integrates C# code and supports CLR containers. Also, with its Dynamic Routing Architecture (DRA), Progress can propagate WS-Policy and WS-Security semantics across its ESB, extending support for these standards to pre-WS-* and other legacy applications. • The company’s approach to selling software within the SOA market rarely targets a “whole stack” solution. Instead, the sales force and partners target specific solutions, serviced by one or more Progress best-in-class products, any of which employs SOA best practices and standards support. This approach is in line with current SOA adoption models, where businesses seek out a single, revenue-driving SOA solution that may include only one or two SOA suite elements such as Sonic ESB for integration or Apama for event processing. • Progress is a leader in the fault-tolerant JMS messaging market with SonicMQ, which is an established, mature JMS messaging product, with numerous features for scalability, distributed processing, availability, and error handling, all under the moniker “Continuous Availability Architecture” (CAA). SonicMQ, for example, provides continuous mirroring of message flows to a duplicate hot standby server and transactional fault-tolerance of non-persistent messages. This translates into 100% fault-tolerance for solutions employing WS-Reliable Messaging. • Leveraging its strong partner ecosystem and suite of complementary best- in-class solutions, Progress has started to take advantage of the emerging Software as a Service (SaaS) space, targeting vertical-specific solutions with key partners such as Proclaim in the legal marketplace. With this approach, already the company has enabled more than 160 partners, covering 400 applications. • With its Actional and Apama product lines, Progress is well positioned to play an industry leadership role as SOA vendors scramble to realize the benefits of a merged Complex Event Processing (CEP) and BPM/BAM solution, particularly within select vertical markets, where the company has already established some key partnerships. For example, in January of this
  5. 5. year, Progress partnered with Microsoft to provide CEP support for European BizTalk customers needing to comply with the forthcoming MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) industry requirements. Weaknesses • While Sonic can host Java-based integration logic in its lightweight, distributed service container, and can position well against the integration part of application platform suites, the fact is, it does not have a J2EE application server or a portal. This puts it at a possible disadvantage with customers needing to build J2EE-based business logic or J2EE-based Web services, who are looking for a single vendor solution. More... • Progress’ Sonic ESB can boast more functionality and a more unified environment than most ESBs on the market. However the firm is facing threats from lightweight ESBs, with much less functionality, as these solutions impose very low ownership and initial startup costs. These threats include Cape Clear ESB and IBM WebSphere Application Server Express as well as open source ESB efforts such as JBoss, Sun Open ESB and Iona Celtix. These have some appeal to larger sites that already have EAI systems and application servers in place. • Progress’ message of having an ESB and Enabling SOA has been co- opted by a wide range of vendors, including traditional EAI vendors and applications server vendors. Also, companies with integration hubs such as TIBCO, Sun, and webMethods have repositioned themselves as SOA management firms with bundled ESBs. As a result, Progress will need to market its deep set of ESB features, CEP capabilities and real-time governance aggressively to overcome the noise in this market segment. • The ProgressActional Looking Glass product does provide end-to-end process management and monitoring capabilities with automatic policy enforcement. However the company as yet cannot provide in-line (real-time) process optimization through process modeling and testing in response to BAM events designed for business analysts not developers. This puts the company at a disadvantage compared with more unified solutions from competitors such as webMethods, BEA and TIBCO. • Progress affords UDDI 3.0 interoperability with an external registry- repository solution. However, without its own best-of-breed solution, from which it can expand the capabilities of its Sonic and Actional product lines, the company will be at a disadvantage compared with competitors, which can market a single process management solution, including BEA with Flashline, webMethods with Infravio and SOA Software with Blue Titan.
  6. 6. Recommended Actions Recommended Vendor Actions • Progress should consider delivering an OSS messaging server like JBoss or Geronimo together with Sonic and Actional. The company already integrates well with JBoss solutions and could easily simplify sales efforts through the inclusion of and support for a J2EE application server. More... • Progress should refine its market messaging of being heterogeneity- friendly. Most vendors (including TIBCO, webMethods, IBM, Sun, even Oracle) now adopt this “vendor neutral SOA solution provider“ messaging stance. To differentiate, the company must call attention to its ability to deeply integrate with specific vendor solutions, as evidenced by its recently announced Ghost agents for Oracle and JBoss. • The company should more actively promote its Eclipse-based OpenEdge development suite, touting its ability to do round-trip development with other Progress tools. While the majority of Progress’ revenue comes from the OpenEdge platform, this product is perceived as a legacy 4GL tool and is not perceived in the market as a fully capable SOA development environment. To reverse this perception, Progress is positioning its OpenEdge product as an Advanced Business Language (ABL) tool. • Progress should continue to partner to provide UDDI capabilities but should strongly consider developing its own or acquiring a UDDI registry/repository. The company should also consider storing its Actional and Apama policy and services information within this repository. Regardless, in order to compete in the long run, Progress will need to provide its own repository-based SOA management solution, not just point solutions for BAM, CEP and ESB. • While the company’s Actional product can boast run-time governance across the process lifecycle, by deeply integrating its CEP product, Apama, the company can create a significant differentiator. To this end, Progress should further integrate Apama and Actional, adding complex process and temporal events to Actional's list of monitoring triggers. • The firm should continue its strong support for Microsoft platforms as Vista moves into the marketplace. Since Microsoft is at this time not expected to focus on an ESB or SOA management product, there is plenty of room to fill in functionality through Actional, Sonic ESB and other Progress products that can work seamlessly within .NET and Vista environments. Recommended Competitor Actions • Competitors in the integration space (specifically Microsoft) should consider an “ESB” product in order to compete in the mid-market and even in some
  7. 7. larger accounts. This product should be low cost, depend heavily on Web Service endpoints and process technology, and include some type of SOA management feature. More... • Competitors who already have management and monitoring tools within their SOA suites (including IBM and Oracle) should bring this functionality closer to their ESBs and/or integration products to provide management of both processes and transactions. • SOA suite competitors such as webMethods, Sun, IBM, and TIBCO should promote the fact that they have a broader range of SOA solutions that can work both independently or together, even within solution-specific suites such those found in Sun’s Java System Suites. • Competitors such as webMethods, BEA, Sun, IBM, etc., with both a strong portal and registry offering as a part of their SOA suites, should point out Progress’ need to partner for both solutions and that such partnerships will not afford Progress with the same level of cross-product integration capabilities. • SOA competitors with a single BPM/BAM solution (such as webMethods) should promote their ability to move code across development, testing, deployment, monitoring and optimization using business analyst-friendly standards such as Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) and Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN). Recommended End User/Customer Actions • New prospects looking for an SOA-aware integration platform should consider Sonic’s ESB due to its maturity, its lower cost compared to traditional EAI, and its lighter footprint compared with larger middleware stacks that contain an integration component. More... • Users needing to solve complex data integration problems should strongly consider Progress’ advanced, best-of-breed products DataXtend and Sonic product lines, which can ensure both transaction and semantic integration. • Potential customers with existing JBoss’ ESB should consider Progress Actional as a point solution capable of providing the level of BAM and real- time enforcement missing with JBoss’ BMP and rules toolsets. • Users should consider the Actional/Sonic combination as a credible SOA offering. Current users and new prospects should ask about points of integration now and in the future between Sonic and Actional product suites.
  8. 8. • Sonic users and others in need of an enterprise messaging system should definitely consider SonicMQ, due to the improvements in fault tolerance and other incremental features. Users, however, should consider that depending on what other fault tolerant hardware/software they have in-house, they may not want to go to the trouble to set up mirrored servers for messaging. Revision History Revision Added Date • February 2007: Updated document 2/20/2007 to reflect current market conditions and vendor activities. All materials Copyright 1997-2007 Current Analysis, Inc. Reproduction prohibited without express written consent. Current Analysis logos are trademarks of Current Analysis, Inc. The information and opinions contained herein have been based on information obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but such accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All views and analysis expressed are the opinions of Current Analysis and all opinions expressed are subject to change without notice. Current Analysis does not make any financial or legal recommendations associated with any of its services, information, or analysis and reserves the right to change its opinions, analysis, and recommendations at any time based on new information or revised analysis. Current Analysis, Inc. 21335 Signal Hill Plaza, Second Floor, Sterling, VA 20164 Tel: 877-787-8947 Fax: +1 (703) 404-9300 Current Analysis, Inc. 2 rue Troyon, 92316 Sevres Cedex, Paris, France Tel: +33 (1) 41 14 83 17