The January 16 announcement of Oracle acquiring BEA was a huge announcement. Its effect was lessened slightly by the same-day announcement that Sun Microsystems is acquiring MySQL.
With Oracle acquiring BEA, Oracle Corporation, which already has JDeveloper and contributes heavily to Eclipse, will have another Java IDE (the Eclipse-based BEA Workshop) on its hands. It is difficult to imagine Oracle maintaining all three IDEs, though they might see it only as two with future versions of Workshop using much of their contributions to Eclipse.
While it would surprise me if Oracle maintains JDeveloper, Workshop, and independent Eclipse contributions in the future, it would be even more surprising if they maintain two application servers (WebLogic and OC4J) as well as two SOA platforms built on those application servers (AquaLogic and Fusion). My guess is that they will be combined and it would not surprise me if the combined products had more AquaLogic/WebLogic base than Fusion/OC4J base. What I will miss most, if this happens, is the ability to use the sleek OC4J Standalone development application server. I like its small footprint, its decent standards compliance, and its easy to use command-line and web-based administration interfaces.
I hope that we will hear from the Oracle/BEA combination soon about the future direction of these significant products. I am also looking forward to hearing what is said at the upcoming RMOUG Training Days 2008 and Collaborate08 conferences about this major announcement.