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Tibco Scooping up Managed File Transfer Vendor

Middleware vendor Tibco is buying Proginet, maker of MFT (managed file transfer) software, for roughly US$23 million, the companies announced Tuesday. The transaction is expected to close later this year.

The move represents Tibco's desire to continue rounding out its middleware portfolio, as it stands along with Software AG as one of the industry's few remaining large, independent middleware vendors. It also follows a general trend among integration players in the past couple of years to add MFT capabilities, as a recent Forrester Research report noted.

The MFT market contains a wide variety of vendors, including Metastorm, DataMotion and Axway. Proginet's product line, described as a "one-stop shop for all MFT needs" in a Gartner report last year, lets companies securely transfer files internally or with outside parties. The technology has come into greater demand as enterprises globalize, diversify their businesses and contend with increasingly strict regulatory guidelines. Proginet's offerings will join Tibco's existing MFT product.

A number of vendors, including Software AG, use Proginet's technology, but it remains to be seen what will happen to those arrangements after the deal closes.

The pending acquisition serves as a response to IBM's $1.4 billion purchase of B2B integration vendor Sterling Commerce, which has similar software, but only with regard to MFT, said Forrester Research analyst Ken Vollmer via e-mail. "The IBM-Sterling deal was much more than that."

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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