Progress Software Inc. today announced a deal to acquire MarkLogic Inc., the maker of a NoSQL database management system that’s primarily used for enterprise data integration.

The purchase price wasn’t initially disclosed, but press reports later set it at $355 million.

Progress said the deal will give it a unified enterprise-grade semantic data platform for deriving value from complex data. MarkLogic is a multimodal database that can be used as a document store, a native DBMS for use with the extensible markup language, a Resource Description Framework store and a search engine.

Although relatively little-known in the broader NoSQL world, MarkLogic ranks number one on DB-Engines’ list of native XML DBMSs and RDF stores and fifth in the category of search engines.

Founded in 2001, MarkLogic has built an annual revenue stream of more than $100 billion, according to Progress Software Chief Executive Yogesh Gupta (pictured). It was acquired in 2020 by private equity firm Vector Capital Management LP.

Gupta said MarkLogic’s technology is a good fit for the company’s existing data management lines, including its OpenEdge relational offering and DataDirect integration engine. While rarely used as a core NoSQL engine, he said, “the database is a great product and the additional value of metadata modeling is a competitive differentiator.”

Unifying disparate data

A semantic engine can be used to harmonize data across multiple sources that don’t necessarily use the same terminology and syntax. “The same set of information can have different names and terminologies so the meaning quite often isn’t clear,” Gupta said. “A semantic database is about finding data that are related without having a hard match. It can build relationships across information sources.”

That addresses a vexing problem for large companies, in particular, that may have “thousands of suppliers and hundreds of thousands of parts with different terminology,” Gupta said. “If you have a database that can ingest from both structured and unstructured sources and apply semantic data modeling you can rationalize it and apply analytics.”

Although Progress Software has been around since 1981 and reported $531 million in revenue in fiscal 2021, the company has historically maintained a low profile. About 40% of its revenue is still derived from OpenEdge, which was first released 40 years ago.

“Its claim to fame is that it’s the lowest total cost of ownership database so it gets embedded in a lot of applications,” said Gupta, who noted that more than 1,700 software companies ship OpenEdge on an original equipment manufacturer basis. “As customers want to expand into unstructured data they want metadata management and NoSQL capabilities,” where MarkLogic is a good fit, he said.

With its roots in application development, Progress has been looking to diversify into agile methodologies such as DevOps. A little over two years ago, it acquired infrastructure automation company Chef Software Inc. and followed with the 2021 acquisition of DevOps-focused Kemp Technologies, Inc.

Photo: Progress Software

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