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Gartner predicts steady growth in application integration and middleware sales

A report from Gartner Dataquest has predicted that the world market for application integration, middleware and portals, will grow from $5.1 billion in 2001 to $10.5 billion in 2006.

A report from Gartner Dataquest has predicted that the world market for application integration, middleware and portals, will grow from $5.1 billion in 2001 to $10.5 billion in 2006. The report stated that the growth is a function of “a high rate of technological innovation, coupled with escalating business requirements for integration”.

“The demand for application integration and middleware (AIM) and portals will be strong because the integration challenge will continue into the foreseeable future. This will be driven by the globalisation of business, mergers and acquisitions, and the fundamental requirements to reach out and maintain new customers, partners and suppliers,” said Joanne Correia, vice president of Gartner Dataquest’s Software Industry Research Group.

The Dataquest research also leads the authors to conclude that there is a new form of e-business platform developing from the combination of application servers, portal software and integration brokers. Dataquest classes these new forms as application platform suites (APS). The report then concludes that this trend will lead to increased competition and further consolidation within the software industry.

“Software vendors need to look beyond the technology benefits to ways their software can provide better ROI and time to market for their customers,” said Correia. “Software vendors also need to try and focus their value proposition on the business issues they solve, such as improving process discovery, design, integration and management.”

Correia emphasised the need for integration services offered by vendors to reflect the growth in web services, which requires integration technology to be simple and cheap as opposed to complicated and expensive. “Vendors will have to react by developing low cost, low-end integration packages around web services technology. This evolution will cause the categories of middleware to be redefined over the next several years,” she stated.

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