IBM Corp. has signed an agreement to acquire the software assets of CrossAccess Corp., a privately-held company in Santa Clara, Calif. Financial details weren’t disclosed.

The acquisition, which is expected to close this month, could lead to products that help customers gain access to information across the enterprise, including mainframe databases, said IBM spokesperson Lori Bosio.

CrossAccess is a provider of software that offers businesses real-time access to non-IBM mainframe data sources, such as Software AG’s Adabas and Computer Associates International Inc.’s databases.

“What we’re hearing from customers and analysts is that 60 per cent of data resides on mainframe legacy databases,” Bosio said. “So a lot of companies have nonrelational databases. We’re not telling companies, ‘You have to replace your IT infrastructure.’ We’re saying, ‘We’ll let you access it, no matter what form it’s in or where it resides.’ This lets companies build on their existing infrastructure. What CrossAccess brings is fast, easy, access to companies’ legacy data sources.”

IBM said the announcement extends its e-business and on-demand initiatives and underscores its strategy of bringing mainframe data to customers’ distributed environments.

Once the acquisition is completed, IBM plans to integrate CrossAccess’ software assets and personnel into its Data Management Software group and sell CrossAccess technology worldwide through its sales force.