Continuing to accelerate away from its traditional Pick and Prime Information markets, Unidata Inc will Tuesday announce its acquisition of French object database company O2 Technology for an undisclosed amount, a deal we’ve been predicting since the beginning of this year (CI No 3,179). The Denver, Colorado-based company, which markets a nested form of relational database, has been working with O2 for over two years to meld Unidata with the O2 database and create what might best be described as its own form of object-relational or Universal Server type of product. The company describes it as a Universal Object Server. The $50m, 365-person Unidata picks up most of O2’s 65 employees and will retain O2’s Paris-based research and development center. It also gets O2’s 10-person US, and five-strong UK and German operations. Both companies are privately held. O2 is reckoned to have done around $6m revenue in 1995. Unidata’s goal is to do $70m revenue over the coming year. It claims to be in profit. O2 CEO and object evangelist Francois Bancilhon becomes Unidata CTO. The Falcon codename given to the integrated Unidata/O2 product will be dropped and the features incorporated into a new line of Unidata O2 products built atop version 5.0 and a future version 6.0 cut of the O2 object database. The company will continue to develop Unidata for a claimed 500,000 customers. It’ll eventually merge the two as Universal Object Server and plans to create a set of vertical industry products from the single source base. Unidata’s also cut its cloth close to Microsoft Corp, agreeing back in June (CI No 3,180) to incorporate an OLE DB interface into Unidata, support COM and distributed DCOM and develop an SQLator technology that’ll enable users to move data wholesale from Unidata databases into SQL Server databases. Of course Unidata hopes Microsoft customers may then come its way for the kinds of extended data type services in its O2 database the likes of Oracle, Informix and Sybase are providing users with object- relational versions of their databases and use Falcon as a repository for object data. The Falcon technology layers O2’s program language bindings – including its Java work – and OQL query language on top of the Unidata engine. The deal underlies the industry trend towards supporting image, video, sound and other data types as extensions to underlying relational data models. It’s also the latest example of a pure object-oriented play morphing into other markets.