Red Hat acquires FeedHenry to get mobile app chops

The deal adds better mobile capabilities to the JBoss Middleware portfolio

Red Hat wants a piece of the enterprise mobile app market, so it has acquired Irish company FeedHenry for approximately €63.5 million (US$82 million).

The growing popularity of mobile devices has put pressure on enterprise IT departments to make existing apps available from smartphones and tablets -- a trend that Red Hat is getting in on with the FeedHenry acquisition.

The mobile app segment is one of the fastest growing in the enterprise software market, and organizations are looking for better tools to build mobile applications that extend and enhance traditional enterprise applications, according to Red Hat.

"Mobile computing for the enterprise is different than Angry Birds. Enterprise mobile applications need a backend platform that enables the mobile user to access data, build backend logic, and access corporate APIs, all in a scalable, secure manner," Craig Muzilla, senior vice president for Red Hat's Application Platform Business, said in a blog post.

FeedHenry provides a cloud-based platform that lets users develop and deploy applications for mobile devices that meet those demands. Developers can create native apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry as well as HTML5 apps, or a mixture of native and Web apps.

A key building block is Node.js, an increasingly popular platform based on Chrome's JavaScript runtime for building fast and scalable applications.

From Red Hat's point of view, FeedHenry is a natural fit with the company's strengths in enterprise middleware and PaaS (platform-as-a-service). It adds better mobile capabilities to the JBoss Middleware portfolio and OpenShift PaaS offerings, Red Hat said.

Red Hat plans to continue to sell and support FeedHenry's products, and will continue to honor client contracts. For the most part, it will be business as usual, according to Red Hat. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of its fiscal 2015.

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