Monday, June 16, 2008

IBM Rules the Middleware Roost

Have you seen Gartner's latest report on the middleware market?

The Gartner middleware market numbers were reported in a recent article in eWeek. Evidently, the worldwide application infrastructure and middleware software market revenue totaled $14.1 billion in 2007, a 12.9 percent increase from 2006 revenue of $12.5 billion.

Now that is quite healthy growth in what is a somewhat slow market. And right there at the top of the pile is IBM with a 28.9 percent share of what Gartner identifies as the AIM market...BEA Systems came in second with 9.3 percent of the market, followed by Oracle with 8.5 percent. However, Oracle now owns BEA and will benefit from BEA's market share (next year).

Oracle will likely continue its acquisitive ways, but IBM has not been silent on the acquisition front lately either. So I'm guessing that next year IBM will retain its #1 position with Oracle coming in solidly at #2.

For 2007, though, in terms of growth, Microsoft and Software AG posted impressive gains. Among the big enterprise software vendors, Microsoft came in at 41.6 percent revenue growth year over year. And Software AG showed strong growth with a 107 percent increase from 2006.

This is a market segment, like database software, where a small number of big players own most of the market. However, it is not quite as monopolized as the database market where three players (IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft) dwarf the rest of the field. The top five middleware vendors hold over 50 percent of the overall market and Gartner indicates that the big players are slowly eroding market share from the smaller vendors.

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