Oracle adds to social-media software arsenal with Involver acquisition

Involver is known for its SML technology for social application development

Oracle said Tuesday it is buying startup Involver, a move that adds to its burgeoning array of marketing, analytics and customer service software aimed at the social Web.

The deal is expected to close within the next few months. Its terms were not disclosed.

Involver is known for its SML (Social Markup Language), which allows companies to develop "highly customized marketing applications for social media sites and web campaigns," according to a statement. It also has a drag-and-drop design toolset and a number of prebuilt applications for making social sites "more engaging and viral," Oracle said.

Its capabilities will augment those Oracle is gaining through the acquisition of social marketing vendor Vitrue, which was announced in May. Those applications are set to be part of a broader suite that includes customer-service software from Oracle's RightNow acquisition and social media monitoring tools from Collective Intellect, another recent purchase by the vendor.

Oracle will also align Involver's technology with its recently launched cloud-based database and Java development services, according to a presentation.

Involver was formed in 2007. More than a million "brands and agencies" now use its software, according to the company's website. Its customers include Best Buy, Sony Pictures and Coach.

Oracle is competing with rivals such as Salesforce.com in the social software space. That company has made acquisitions of its own, including a US$689 million deal to buy Vitrue competitor Buddy Media in June.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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