Sales of application integration, middleware and portal software rose to $6.7 billion in 2004, up 5.8% on the previous year.
According to analysts at market watcher Gartner application integration and middleware (AIM) products are playing an increasingly important role in the corporate IT infrastructure, whereas portal platforms, which can be programmed to interact with or even orchestrate cross-application processes, now merit inclusion in the middleware and integration category.
The research shows that IBM maintained its dominance of the market in 2004, with a commanding 37.2% of the market. That share is more than the combined revenues of its four nearest rivals in integration and middleware: BEA, Fujitsu, Oracle and Microsoft.
Microsoft appeared in the top five line-up for the first time, indicating that the release of its BizTalk 2004 Server was received with more enthusiasm than the company's previous application integration platforms. Looking forward, Gartner analyst Joanne Correia predicts that the market will "continue to grow at a slow but positive pace".