The ever-fascinating James Governor of RedMonk suggests today that IBM revive the San Francisco Project.
He sees it as a way to reduce what he perceives as our exposure in the business applications space in the face of increasing consolidation. Consolidation in the business applications space certainly makes my job in enterprise middleware interesting. I use the word "interesting" deliberately... competing and cooperating with the same people is good for the intellect :-) In my practice, however, whether an application vendor is independent or owned by Oracle doesn't really matter. The value I deliver comes from providing an integration layer independent of any one application. Customers don't like lock-in.
Nevertheless, I do know a couple of people who used to work on "San Francisco"; I'll have to ask them to tell me all about it and what happened to it.
Independently of this, of course, the concept of business applications is evolving. Markets such as Customer Data Integration and Product Information Management are changing the game; meeting our new colleagues from DWL last week was an invigorating experience.