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January 5, 2004

Iona brings Java to integration stack

Iona Technologies Plc has introduced version 1.3 of its Artix integration software, adding support for integrating systems developed using Java.

By CBR Staff Writer

The company said 1.3 also extends its availability and performance across all major platforms, programming languages and middleware. It said new enterprise features include security, management, and transaction support.

Artix is a family of service-oriented integration products that enable enterprises to renovate existing IT assets and consolidate legacy middleware. The driver for this is said to be the ability to reduce cost, complexity, and vendor dependency while enhancing opportunities for future IT developments.

Last July the company made Chris Horn its CEO, replacing Barry Morris. Horn was the initial developer of Iona’s Orbix object request broker product, and served as the company’s president and CEO from its inception until May 2000, and chairman from May 2000 to May 2003.

Iona’s board decided that Iona’s previous management had lost their way, and Morris, COO Steven Fisch, and EVP corporate development, David James, all resigned.

By the time Horn came back to the CEO role in May, Iona had lost its momentum, with sales in the first quarter ended March 31 more than halving, and a net loss of $11.9m, up from a loss of $6.6m on revenue 56.9% lower at $17m.

On taking the reins, Horn said the company would refocus on its Corba roots, playing down its more recent web services integration story. In an interview with ComputerWire shortly after his appointment in July, Horn said: We absolutely still believe in web services integration, but we don’t believe in it as a separate product line. We believe all products should have web services capability, and be able to reach out to other areas, like Corba, J2EE and web services, but we think of web services now as a technology rather than a product.

In its most recent quarter ended September 30, 2003, Iona posted sales of $17.4m, down 34.4% year on year, and a net loss of $2m. On announcement of the results, Horn said he was pleased with the company’s progress and there was growing interest among its customer base for its Artix integration line.

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This article is based on material originally produced by ComputerWire.

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