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With Endeca buy, Oracle makes unstructured-data statement

Oracle plans to take Endeca's technology and combine it with its ATG Commerce offering and business intelligence tools.

Oracle today acquired Endeca, an unstructured-data software and business intelligence player, for an undisclosed sum.

The deal is notable on many fronts. For starters, Oracle is serious about content management and unstructured data. Hewlett-Packard bought Autonomy with the same market in mind. Endeca was on tap to go public and raised $65 million from various venture firms as well as Oracle rival SAP.

For its part, Oracle plans to take Endeca's technology and combine it with its ATG Commerce offering. Oracle's move gives it Endeca's MDEX engine, which makes sense of unstructured data, Endeca InFront, an e-commerce platform, and Endeca Latitude, which provides analytics.

According to Oracle, the deal will close at the end of the year.

Analysts said Oracle's acquisition of Endeca is notable on many fronts:

Forrester analyst Boris Evelson said that Oracle is targeting enterprise search and trying to meld it with business intelligence. Evelson said Oracle's move will affect SAP, Microsoft FAST Search, and other vendors such as QlikView and Tibco.

Leslie Owens, Forrester's enterprise search analyst, said:

It's unusual to see a fit like this, where Endeca's technology matches two different focus areas for Oracle: 1) Customer experience: Endeca has marquee eCommerce customers who use its on-site search and merchandising solutions. 2) Agile BI: Endeca was early at positioning search as an exploratory tool for non-technical users to map diverse data and content together.

Oracle's presentation on the deal highlights how it sees Endeca fitting with its portfolio.


This story was originally published at ZDNet's Between the Lines.