Oracle Corp. plans to purchase Tangosol Inc., a U.S. provider of in-memory data grid software, as a way to further extend its Fusion middleware and make it more appealing to users where rapid access to data is critical to their businesses.

Data grid software is middleware that manages data objects in-memory across multiple servers. It’s used to raise application performance by enabling very fast access to frequently used data, removing the need to access that data from slower moving back-end systems.

Oracle announced its latest acquisition plans Friday. Subject to customary closing conditions, Oracle expects to complete the purchase of Tangosol next month. The companies didn’t provide any financial information about the acquisition.

Oracle’s recent purchases have tended to focus more on buoying up the company’s applications business than its database and middleware operations, with the vendor earlier this month entering into an agreement to acquire business intelligence applications vendor Hyperion Solutions Corp. for US$3.3 billion.

Tangosol’s Coherence software helps enable what’s known as extreme transaction processing (XTP) common in industries where real-time access to data is crucial such as financial services, telecommunications and logistics.

Oracle plans to integrate Tangosol’s technology with its Fusion middleware and its TimesTen in-memory database and its enterprise-level Oracle Database, the vendor said. The intention is to create a middleware stack capable of supporting applications carrying out real-time data analytics, grid-based in-memory computation and high-performance transactions. Oracle acquired TimesTen in June 2005 and last month released the first major version of the in-memory relational database developed within Oracle since the purchase.

Tangosol, which has its headquarters in Somerville, Massachusetts, has more than 100 customers including Delta Airlines, FedEx, Macy’s, Starwood and Wachovia and over 1,500 deployments of its software around the world.

Oracle committed to supporting and continuing ongoing development of Tangosol’s software both as an independent product line and being integrated with its Fusion middleware. Oracle will not require Tangosol customers to use Fusion and plans to continue developing the Coherence software so it can function independent of middleware. Coherence supports middleware from vendors including BEA Systems Inc., IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp.’s .Net, Oracle and Red Hat Inc.’s JBoss division.


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