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BEA snaps up small data-access company

With its acquisition of privately held SolarMetric, BEA Systems gains Kodo, an object-relationship mapping tool.

BEA Systems has snapped up SolarMetric, a small privately held company that sells database development tools, marking its fifth acquisition in the past several months.

The financial terms of the deal, announced Thursday, were not disclosed.

SolarMetric, a 13-person company based in Austin, Texas, sells a data-access product called Kodo. The product aims to make it easier for developers to write Java server programs that pull information out of relational databases.

During a conference call on Thursday, BEA executives said that the Kodo software will be built into the forthcoming 9.5 version of its WebLogic Server and its Workshop development tool. WebLogic is an application server that runs Java programs and serves up Web pages.

Kodo is one of a handful of so-called object-relational mapping products already on the market. JBoss, for example, has a similar open-source product called Hibernate.

Marge Breya, BEA's chief marketing officer, said that Kodo stands apart from Hibernate and other object-relational mapping tools because it supports Java industry standards, specifically the Java Data Objects specification and Enterprise Java Beans 3.0.

Breya added that conforming to standards means that Kodo can work with a variety of databases, which will help BEA compete against IBM and Oracle.

After its relatively slow pace in making acquisitions over the past two years, San Jose, Calif.-based BEA in the past several months has picked up the pace.

Its largest acquisition by far was its August purchase of portal software maker Plumtree for $200 million. It also bought smaller businesses, including radio frequency ID software company ConnecTerra in October and development tool company M7 in September.