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Oracle Shells Out $1B To Buy ATG

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  • Firsrt question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @09:39AM (#34100052)
    What patents do they own?How can we moeterise them?
    • by Pojut (1027544)

      I'm not sure, but I imagine that if they paid $1 billion (mwahahaha), ATGs patent portfolio is extensive.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      What patents do they own?How can we moeterise them?

      What clients do they have? Migrate them to Oracle!

      • Re:Firsrt question (Score:5, Interesting)

        by afidel (530433) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @10:03AM (#34100306)
        Yep, at ~$1M per customer Oracle's obviously expecting some serious revenue generation from this acquisition.
        • by gstoddart (321705)

          Yep, at ~$1M per customer Oracle's obviously expecting some serious revenue generation from this acquisition.

          And, then once you're in the door with Oracle for the eCommerce stuff, you try to get Oracle into the rest of the company.

          Then the real money starts, what with the sun hardware and support contracts and all.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Chrisq (894406)

            Yep, at ~$1M per customer Oracle's obviously expecting some serious revenue generation from this acquisition.

            And, then once you're in the door with Oracle for the eCommerce stuff, you try to get Oracle into the rest of the company.

            Then the real money starts, what with the sun hardware and support contracts and all.

            You mean like "The next release of the ecommerce suite runs on Oracle/Weblogic app server only".

            • Re:Firsrt question (Score:4, Insightful)

              by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @01:54PM (#34103390) Homepage

              You mean like "The next release of the ecommerce suite runs on Oracle/Weblogic app server only".

              Exactly. I can guarantee that Oracle will change that software to require Oracle. That's what companies that grow through acquisition do, is move the existing customer base to use their product.

              And, then once you've made them buy an Oracle for the eCommerce app, you might as well buy one for the rest of your enterprise data. And you're gonna need equipment and a maintenance agreement -- you always need a maintenance agreement.

              Before long, your enterprise runs on Oracle, you have a maintenance agreement for each machine doing it -- oh, and since it's Oracle you need 3x the hardware to do what you used to do before since there is a small fleet of machines needed to support Oracle's solutions. Especially now that they are the hardware vendor.

              Me, I can see some of the users of this software being on the hook for tens of millions of dollars each year once the Oracle licensing machine is through with them. Oracle will try to bleed them dry as much as they can manage.

        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          There are 4 boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order. Starting now.

          And I thought I was so clever getting out of jury duty. Fuck, now I have to wait another 6 six years before I start shooting!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by contra_mundi (1362297)
      Meteorize them?

      A big solid object hurling at Earth sounds about as disruptive to society as this patent system.

      +1 Accidentally Insightful.
      • Mod this down, it's for the above person only.

        When I mouse over your logo in the top left corner, the background image is replaced with a grey box of the same size. Checked in Chromium and Firefox on Ubuntu 10.10 and IE 8 on Windows. I say this to you as you seem quite heavily involved with the site.
        • Maybe someone can help with that css problem.

          Thing is, I want text-links in the articles to have a grey background when someone hovers the mouse over them, but the only way I know to do this is by having all link-things turn fully grey backgrounded whenever the mouse is over them.

          The image in the top left is part of a big link area, so the whole link area turns grey.

          It irritates me too. Anyone know the html/css magic needed?

          The current css is at:
          http://en.swpat.org/wiki/MediaWiki:Common.css [swpat.org]
          (Normal users ca

          • For a start, if you're using CSS, why is the logo background specified in the html doc?

            a style="background-image: url(/images/swpat-logo.png);" href="/wiki/Software_patents_wiki:_home_page" title="Visit the main page"

            refer to that link by the id of the element above, or give it a class/id, and set the background image in CSS, so that all your styling is in one place. Anyway, I imagine something like

            #p-logo a:hover {background-image: url(/images/swpat-logo.png);}

            would work for you, or (better), set the hover

            • Got it. Here's what worked:

              #p-logo a:hover {background: none; background-repeat: no-repeat;}

              The HTML is generated by Mediawiki, so I can't change that without patching the code (and the sys admins wouldn't be too happy with having to maintain a patch for each upgrade).

              Thanks. (and also to the anonymous poster just below.)

      • by ledow (319597) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @10:40AM (#34100630) Homepage

        All mainly software patents, by the look of it, and generic ones at that. A 1999 patent for pushing session-state information to a backup server, to a 2001 patent for an embedded web link in a document. All crap, by the look of it, and a lot of them only filed (not issued) and all of them pretty much of the "patent bandwagon" type (i.e. "John patented a web link last week, let's see if we can patent something just as obvious and well-used!"). There's even one there for shipping out a customer's order in a different order for efficiency. Let's patent using a lever to reduce work next!

        I don't see anything that holds much clout, but they are likely to have some Java patents, or at least something along those lines.

        Sorry Oracle, your recent actions make me extremely suspicious and I don't even *try* to think it might be an innocent purchase any more. See what destroying reputations does? (and, really, I'm not sorry for Oracle at all).

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          Sorry Oracle, your recent actions make me extremely suspicious and I don't even *try* to think it might be an innocent purchase any more. See what destroying reputations does? (and, really, I'm not sorry for Oracle at all).

          But, be honest ....

          Do you think Oracle is in the least bit perturbed by either your suspicion or that you don't "feel sorry for them"? Even a little? Or do you figure they're just lighting cigars with $100 bills and laughing?

          Oracle will make lots of money. Larry Ellison will continue t

          • by ledow (319597)

            Do they care about me? Nope. I'm just a guy. Do they care about the OO.org community? Nope, it's just some guys. Eventually, though, it filters back to something they *DO* care about - they used to have a reputation among the people I speak to of high-end, quality database infrastructure. Now they have a reputation of destroying perfectly good and harmless open source products that people use every day (e.g. MySQL, Java, etc.).

            Do they care about me? Nope. Do I care about them? Nope. Do I care that

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by gstoddart (321705)

              Sadly, I agree with everything you said.

              Except I fear that they will not end up taking any significant hit -- either financially, or in their reputation.

              At which point, they will continue with business as usual, and nothing will change.

              Depressing, isn't it?

        • Look at their customer list at www.atg.com Fortune 10 and Fortune 500.

          Oracle will be able to supply enterprise solutions from the power connection to the end user. No finger pointing. Just like IBM did in the 60s.

        • ATG were major innovators in using Java to power web applications. They created their weird droplet things long before J2EE and servlets, JSP etc became widely usable. It doesn't surprise me a bit that they have patents for web based technologies that seem simple/commonplace to us now.

          • by Raenex (947668)

            Oh please. There's nothing novel in JSP or servlets. It's all just re-invention of old ideas around the new protocol/language. JSP is just templating/macros, invented a million times over. Servlets are just a pool to avoid starting a new process. Truly, there's nothing new here, though no doubt some crap patents were issued.

            • If you're going to disagree with me, at least say something intelligent. And address the things I actually said:
              1. They innovated in using Java for websites. Remember Java, those applets for NCs?
              2. They did it before JSP became widely usable.

              The Romans didn't invent (or even understand) arches, but they innovated a lot of aquaducts into existence nonetheless.

              • by Raenex (947668)

                They innovated in using Java for websites. Remember Java, those applets for NCs?

                Perhaps you can explain what, exacty, ATG did that was so special in the applet arena. You've mentioned servlets and JSPs as following technologies, and that is what I addressed.

        • by Raenex (947668)

          Sorry Oracle, your recent actions make me extremely suspicious and I don't even *try* to think it might be an innocent purchase any more. See what destroying reputations does?

          Too funny. Did Oracle have a reputation to destroy? They've always been a hardball, corporate cutthroat. If you buy Oracle, you do so because you feel like you have to, not out of some warm fuzzies.

        • Let's patent using a lever to reduce work next!

          Actually, I'd pay a lot of money for a patent on a lever that reduces work. Normal levers just reduce *force*. :)

    • by kernhe (114975)

      My first question is: What OS projects are "driven" by ATG?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by gstoddart (321705)

        My first question is: What OS projects are "driven" by ATG?

        I'm betting none. From TFA ...

        “The addition of ATG, which brings market-leading products used by some of the largest and most well-known retailers and brands, furthers Oracle’s strategy of delivering industry-specific enterprise applications"

        This is a commercial entity which sells eCommerce software to other commercial entities.

        Sometimes, the story has nothing to do with Open Source. This is one of them. So, feel free to get on with y

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Thud457 (234763)
        my first question is what FOSS projects do they sponsor that are now going to get kicked to the curb?
    • ATG used to have their own J2EE Application Server, so presumably their "high end e-commerce software" is based on J2EE (or JEE) technology so that Oracle has more products to sell.

      I learned about them about 5 years ago - a job offer read "ATG Dynamo developer" and I had to explain the guys they better started looking for J2EE developers instead...

      • ATG was a really hot technology ten years ago... does anyone know if it's been used for much since?

        I still occasionally get a call for it -- I've since taken it off my resume, since I retain almost nothing of how to use it at this point -- but it's rare.

        • by dj51d (20536)
          Best Buy, Office Max, and Target are some of their larger customers that come to mind
    • by Fnord666 (889225)

      What patents do they own?How can we moeterise them?

      Technically that's two questions.

      • by treeves (963993)

        Actually it is just one question, followed by a nonsense sentence that happens to end with a question mark.

    • by initialE (758110)

      Wait what? They want to moe [wikipedia.org]terise a software company?

  • I'm sorry Larry we accidentally brought the wrong ATG. Never mind, I am sure that we can use it for something.. Corporate hospitality perhaps? I'm sure that some of our clients would love a trip to Palestine [wikipedia.org]. No, wait - perhaps a relocation of our open-source initiatives would be in order.
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @09:54AM (#34100220)
    Is this their new database code name?
  • Brand value. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zrbyte (1666979) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @10:00AM (#34100274)

    By combining forces, Oracle and ATG expect to help businesses grow revenue, strengthen customer loyalty, improve brand value, achieve better operating results, and increase business agility across online and traditional commerce environments...

    I just wish they cared this much for the Open Office brand. Oh, wait that doesn't make money for Mr. Shareholder. Too bad.

    • You should buy some shares in Oracle. Then you would have some say in how they conduct business.
  • Using ATG in 1998... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dmorin (25609) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .niromd.> on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @10:06AM (#34100332) Homepage Journal
    I was using ATG's products back in 1998. This was before even Java Server Pages had caught on (one of my great regrets in life was having the opportunity to write a JSP book and turning it down :( ). If I remember correctly they even told us that Sun used some of their patents in developing JSP (though don't hold me to that, it was a long time ago). Their technology was very ColdFusion-like, trying to create an entire programming language complete with conditionals and looping structures all inside a markup syntax. But once you got used to it, it was very powerful. We ran our entire ecommerce platform on it for buying and selling mutual funds, encompassing 16 business units. It was a fun company, founded by some wanna-be rockstars (Jeet, really - not so much Joe). They threw a heck of a party. At least one of them ended with a shirtless Jeet playing guitar inside a gogo-dancer's cage. Ah, memories. I think that was the party that took place in New Orleans, where I bumped into my very drunk "customer advocate" coming down Bourbon Street, who asked me if I was having a good time. Apparently not as good as he was. Funny story - I got a tour of the place once. This was during a time when we were trying to use their brand new adapter for the content management system Documentum, and it was not going well. During the tour, before being shown engineering, my tour guide (Hi, Katja!) paused and asked me if I could identify my technical contact by sight. I said no, so the tour continued. I honestly think they were afraid I was going to make a scene. I used to own some stock, I'll have to go see if I ever dumped it.
    • by AtlantaSteve (965777) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @10:34AM (#34100576)

      I think that was the party that took place in New Orleans...

      Ah, yes. Around 2000 or 2001, my then-employer rewarded some overtime by sending me to New Orleans for the "ATG Open"... ATG's version of Java One. ATG hired a hundred or so jazz musicians to stand around the hallways of the hotel playing music all day. They hired a few dozen more people to dress up as the company mascot (a square with a dot in the center), just to stand around the hallways for the hell of it waving to everyone. Free booze was everywhere, and at night the hotel conference rooms were turned into dance parties with half-naked women suspended from the ceilings in cages.

      On the last day, they closed off Bourbon Street for a parade with all the musicians and weird "dot" mascots. That night they rented out the freaking Superdome for a jazz/rock concert, along with carnival rides and a field goal kicking contest (NOTE: Football kickers deserve respect, 25 yards is a LONG way!). On our way out, they gave each attendee hundreds of dollars worth of premium-quality swag... designer pens, football jerseys, and a weekend luggage bag that I still take to the gym today.

      I miss the dot-com years.

  • The first thought that comes to mind is that ATG is the most common start codon in translation of genomic sequences. Symbolism?

  • by mseeger (40923) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @10:28AM (#34100516)

    The good thing about this deal? No OSS community to be driven off....

    • by yoshi_mon (172895)

      I think there is a real corporate culture within Oracle that has a disdain for the idea behind FSF/OSS. And having worked with plenty of authoritative right-wing corporate types that see anything that is 'free' as bad even if it is the best technical solution I know when to suggest using FSF/OSS software and when to just let some narrow minded authoritarian pay more because that is what they are comfortable with.

      As I've witnessed the brain-drain at Oracle it has become pretty clear to me that they do have

      • by mseeger (40923) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @11:40AM (#34101360)

        I have been a Sun Partner for nearly 20 years. Those Oracle types managed to break the relationship it without breaking any sweat within less than 12 months.

        I don't think it's FOSS that is the problem with Oracle. My guess is more about the sales type. There are hunter and farmers. Oracle is 100% hunter. FOSS guys tend to be farmer

        CU, Martin

        • by yoshi_mon (172895)

          But don't you think that is part of what the corporate culture is all about within Oracle? That they view the FOSS model as something to be discarded rather than used as a tool to enable more sales?

          When you pick up a hardware company that has put resources into FOSS to foster that line and then toss all of that FOSS to the wind it seems to me that they just don't get it.

          • by mseeger (40923)

            That they view the FOSS model as something to be discarded rather than used as a tool to enable more sales?

            That is the very definition of the "hunter model". All that counts is the current deal. The next deal is not a matter of interest right now.

            CU, Martin

  • I am thinking with the current movement against software patents, now isn't the best time to spend a billion dollars trying to acquire them. If court cases eventually overturn all software patents as they should, that money will wind up being a huge waste and a huge loss on Oracle's reports.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by BuddaLicious (1628555)

      ATG makes over $50 million a year in REVENUE.
      They grew by 16% last year.

      Even if this growth rate slows (more likely to accelerate as market improves) Oracle will still get a FULL return on their investment in 15 years or so.
      That's much better than the 20 P/E ratio that Buffet always swore by and got so rich on.

      Oracle is buying a profitable company that produces a commerce package that allows complex transactions, like the poster above mentioned.
      ATG also has a customer base of 1000 large Orgs, that are likel

      • by kill-1 (36256)

        They made $50 million in the last quarter, not year.

      • by Amouth (879122)
        50 million in REVENUE is easy to do..

        i bet if i had the money in had i could get it too..

        hey give me 1$ and i'll give you 2$.. i bet i can get 50 million given to me..

        REVENUE is a very bad metric to use for buying a company.. Profit? earnings? Net-Income.. they are much better numbers to use.

        REVENUE only shows cash coming in and nothing about the rest which is exceptionally important.
  • so for a cool billion Ellison got himself a bunch [swpat.org] of generic patents (such as "Flexible order structure", "Method and system for constructing personalized result sets" and "System and method for interfacing and separating formatted content and program code", you get the picture) and he also now is a proud owner of some sort of 'in house' web based IM system and some sort of a rules engine on top of a knowledge base.

    Obviously I am not mentioning the 1000 or so clients that ATG supposedly has.

    I suppose this i

    • I suppose this is a somewhat meaningful purchase, though obviously the company in question has over 942M market capitalization (per Yahoo) and this year revenue is just over $50 million, which doesn't say much about their profit. Ellison can do whatever he wants with his money but I think he is overpaying for this company by at least a factor of 2.

      Wait, the market cap is just under 1 BN, and Oracle paid 1 BN... so, you're saying that in your expert opinion, the stock price of ATG was overvalued by a factor

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by roman_mir (125474)

        You are right, but it's not about 'google fu', it's about me paying attention to the article, which I actually opened. It does say 50M, but later adds it's for a quarter. That makes more sense then, though market capitalization is still a lousy indicator about the company, what was capitalization of Nortel or GM before their steep declines?

        Also, while the revenue is 50M for the last quarter, what's their profit out of that? 50M revenue with profit under 5M, so profit under 20M/year (probably closer to 10M

        • Also, while the revenue is 50M for the last quarter, what's their profit out of that?

          According to their 10k, it's around 30M a quarter, and rising over the past several quarters.

          I mean, 20M is 2% of 1Billion, so there has to be more reason than profit here to buy the company for that money.

          Correct, which I mentioned in my first reply :)

          This is about getting onto mobile platforms, which ATG is doing quite a bit of. Oracle can use ATG's penetration onto mobile platform e-commerce to sell more of the stack

  • Next up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @11:20AM (#34101028)
    "Oracle Sues a bunch of people for 1 billion dollars"

    Oracle is like a plague. It 'captures' companies for their patents, and does pretty much nothing for their products.
  • My guess is they want to complete the hardware and software stack to complete head on with IBM and SAP.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This acquisition is definitely not about software patents, it's about further penetrating IBM's hold on the eCommerce market and saturating large enterprises with more Oracle products across the board. I've worked as an IBM WebSphere Commerce architect for many years and Oracle has always tried to fight off these sales. A large eCommerce installation costs anywhere from 200K to 15Mil in just software licenses, let alone the professional services fees which start at 350K for a small implementation. IBM has b

  • If corporations are indeed equivalent to aggregate persons, then why isn't it considered slavery when one corporation "acquires" another?

  • Oracle should slow down; they haven't even finished digesting and ruining Sun yet.

A bug in the code is worth two in the documentation.

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