Oracle acquires WebGain tools

Oracle Corp. has acquired WebGain Inc.’s TopLink family of tools for Java developers, the Redwood Shores, California, software maker said Monday.

TopLink tools simplify the linking of applications to a database by allowing Java developers to map Java objects to the database. Now the developer can focus on the application, instead of the infrastructure underneath, said an Oracle spokeswoman, who asked not to be named.

Oracle developers are keen on seeing Oracle expand and improve its Java developer offerings, with European developers especially looking for mapping and modeling tools.

Oracle’s existing 9i JDeveloper “is not as good as it could be,” said Rolf Scheuch, chief technology officer of Optiz Consulting GmbH in Gummersbach, Germany, which offers implementation and consultancy services around Oracle products. Scheuch would like Oracle to improve the UML (Unified Modeling Language) integration in JDeveloper.

“TopLink is a good step. Oracle bought one of the most important object relation database mapping tools available, this fills a gap in Oracle’s offering,” Scheuch said.

As part of the acquisition, which was finalized last Thursday, about 90 WebGain staff who sell, support and develop TopLink, are now Oracle employees. Most of the TopLink team worked at WebGain in Canada, according to Oracle. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Oracle will continue to support the 400 of the 700 licensed TopLink customers that were supported by WebGain. TopLink tools should be available for free download on Oracle’s Technology Network on Monday, the spokeswoman said.

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