June 10, 2013 – Progress Software made two announcements Monday to move head-first into the platform as a service marketplace.

First, the Bedford, Mass.-based application development vendor announced a deal to buy privately held Rollbase Inc., maker of a cloud platform for the creation of various SaaS business applications. Rollbase is slated to be the core of the second announcement, a PaaS offering called Progress Pacific. Available in Q3, Progress Pacific will enable construction and management of business applications for mobile, cloud and social environments. The platform features a vendor-agnostic choice of data sources, business background data and deployment options for both business users and independent software vendors.

Mike West, analyst with Saugatuck Technology, wrote that the combined buyout and product release by Progress “will facilitate cloud and mobile applications development with integrated access to data from disparate SaaS, relational database, big data, social, CRM and ERP systems.”

As part of moves to shore up its foundation and move away from “non-core” product lines last year, Progress sold off open source integration vendor FuseSource to Red Hat. In the months since, Progress has introduced new and updated application development capabilities particularly for mobility and cloud solutions.

Phil Pead, president and CEO at Progress, said in a release that Monday’s announcements follow through on a philosophy from the early days at Progress nearly three decades ago, that “software shouldn’t be the sole purview of the computer programmer.”

“We’ve designed this new platform for application development with the user experience in mind,” Pead said. “It is built for the real world and the businesses that compete in it and where speed and simplicity matter most.”

Rollbase is headquartered in Saratoga, Calif. and led by executives who headed up Recruitforce.com, which was eventually bought out by Taleo, itself now owned by Oracle. The vendor was founded in 2007 and counts 10,000 users of its cloud platform. Progress will continue to support Rollbase’s PaaS offerings. Financial and staffing details were not disclosed.

The global PaaS marketplace is pegged by Gartner to surpass $1.2 billion this year. In recent months, Software AG, Oracle and even General Electric have announced large investments and intentions in the on-demand platform arena.

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