Fresh off a strong third-quarter earnings report, Oracle announced Thursday that it has agreed to acquire a set of Web application testing products from Empirix for an undisclosed sum.
Oracle plans to make Empirix's e-TEST suite "a core component" of its Enterprise Manager product.
Empirix, based in Bedford, Massachusetts, will retain control of the business until the agreement is finalised, according to Oracle. The company also makes testing products for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and IP multimedia subsystems (IMS).
"The acquisition of e-TEST suite is expected to strengthen Oracle Enterprise Manager with application load and functional testing technology, and enable Oracle to provide comprehensive application management life cycle solutions," vice-president of applications and systems management for Oracle, Leng Leng Tan, said in a prepared letter to customers.
In other documents made available on Thursday, Oracle said e-TEST suite is "proven" and being used by more than 685 customers in industries such as financial services, insurance and manufacturing.
E-TEST suite components include e-Manager Enterprise, for developing and organising test processes; e-Tester, for building test scripts; and e-Load, for load and performance testing of Web applications.
Empirix products are "highly compatible" with Oracle's, and hundreds of its customers have used them successfully, Oracle said.
Michael Cote, an analyst with Redmonk, said he was not familiar with Empirix but suggested Oracle's pending purchase may hint at a bigger-picture strategy.
"All I can say is that the IT management world is keeping their eye on Oracle to become a bigger player in IT management," he said Thursday. "So far, Oracle is focused on providing management for Oracle stuff -- which there's plenty of to worry about -- but stuff like this could expand them out more into general performance testing and monitoring."
Empirix has more than 350 employees worldwide, according to its Web site. Its Web application-testing employees "have significant domain experience in application testing" and "will be an integral part of the applications and systems management business within Oracle," Oracle said.