Application integration market set to boom


Market Analysis

Application integration market set to boom
The market for application integration products and services, including middleware and corporate portals, will soar to a staggering $10.5 billion by 2006 according to Gartner Dataquest. The firm believes that the constant surge of technological innovation and the ever present need for integrated solutions will drive the market into a frenzy, having grown by 16.6% in the past year alone.

In 2001, application integration services and products, which naturally includes both middleware and corporate portals nowadays, were worth some $5.1 billion. As the need to access information, and to tie it into new online projects, for instance, this is a marketplace that just won't stop expanding. Gartner expects that by 2002, in fact, it will already be worth as much as $6 billion.

There will be challenges ahead for the vendors however. Gartner Dataquest is expecting to see this sector become much more competitive as consolidation takes hold. And it warns the vendors to ensure that their products are focussed on providing a fast return on investment. If they don't, they're likely to find themselves on the scrap heap.

Integration services, middleware and corporate portals are all technologies that you would use to access information and data, either current or legacy. Considering that, it's hardly surprising that it's such a huge market. The only reason we have

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computers nowadays is so that we can use information -- so it's a market that will continue to grow exponentially.

There is, of course, an ever present dream, and no lack of hoping, that integration needs will diminish over time. That, if you believe the fiercely competitive vendors, is something that Web services will hope to address. And they may well do so to a certain extent. Gartner says that Web services will change the face of integration solutions by taking them from being complex and expensive projects to relatively cheap and easy ones. This will have the effect of changing the market perception of integration projects and driving down costs.

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