Cape Clear gone

Workday announced yesterday the acquisition of Cape Clear Software. I believe that this is an important deal for several reasons:

– any successful SaaS company will have to solve the problem of data/process integration. Existing applications inside the firewall need to be integrated with an external On Demand processes outside of the firewall. An acquisition of integration company can potentially solve this problem.

– Cape Clear was one of the last independent SOA companies. This is another proof that SOA is no longer an independent activity. It is part of enterprise software (IBM, HP), BPM software (Software AG) and now Saas (Workday).

– we used to compete against Cape Clear at Systinet and it was a great source of inspiration for us. Acquisition of Cape Clear closes one chapter of my career…


  1. I can read between the lines of the second paragraph a call for structured (and respected) data formats. If done successfully, then the need of integration evaporates as data flow among apps/systems (firewalls as well) spontaneously. In other words, we are talking about Microformats and Dataportability, aren’t we? 🙂

  2. Unfortunately, I’m quite pessimistic with regards to such standardization. I do not believe in some magic standardization of the “enterprise” metadata (structures). I would not expect that these are going to converge anytime soon as for example media types (images, video etc.). It hasn’t happened for database structures for many years. The Internet and various initiatives like B2B had only limited success in this area. Perhaps there is no good authority for such standardization. The few semi-successful vertical-specific standards like ACORD are rather exceptions. In my opinion, the solution to the metadata maze is to accept the diversity and rely on it’s compensation on API/process (I hate saying process here) levels. This is why Workflow acquires CapeClear that focuses on the process-level integration. Just my two cents.

  3. Jan Horna says:

    Zdenek, to some extent I share your pessimism, or better say realism here. I was talking about a perfect world that was not coming tomorrow.

    On the other hand, some more consumer-oriented companies target particular vertical industry markets. Google is on my mind now with its Health initiative. I bet they would like to standardize the health care services/market. At least their own way 🙂

  4. I feel that more and more SOA becomes a tool rather than the end goal. A tool to provide more robust SaaS. A tool to build distributed apps. A tool to cross the platform. May be the days when the vendors were in a position to entice the IT organization with the magic acronym are gone with Cape Clear…

  5. The end of an era for sure. Has SOA really become mainstream? I think maybe dimtry says it well – SOA has become a tool, a means to an end.

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