Iona, Ireland’s success, is acquired

A note in Gartner’s latest mailing alerted me to the fact that Iona Technologies, a great Irish success story, is coming to the end of its independent existence. It’s being acquired by Progress Software.

Why do I call Iona a great success? For me it’s always been an example, particularly to the Eurosceptic UK, of how to get the best out of Europe. From the Irish Republic’s wholehearted participation in Europe, researchers at Trinity College Dublin (Chris Horn, Annrai O’Toole and others) used the Esprit and Framework programmes to support development of innovative middleware. Iona was spun off in the 1990s, became an international player, and acquired a base in the US, but remained an Irish company and the acquisition will proceed under Irish law.

Its principals took technology leadership to the Object Management Group, contributing to OMG architectures and basing products on them. The company is active in a range of Open Source initiatives. They shared their insights widely through collaborative research and speaking engagements. Although Iona as a company will be judged to have stayed a leader in the second division – it never became an Oracle or BEA – its influence has been disproportionately huge.

We wish Iona well for the future.

• Progress Software Corporation to Acquire IONA Technologies Progress/Iona press release 25 Jun 2008
• Iona Technologies company website
• Progress Software company website
• Iona Technologies (Wikipedia)
• Progress Acquires Iona to Strengthen Presence in AIM Market from Gartner Flash, 3 July 2008, fully accessible to Gartner clients only

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