Channel Watch

Gartner: Middleware Market Hits the Brakes in 2009

Marketplace: Researchers actually find some good news amid the slowdown for Microsoft in the areas of BizTalk and SharePoint.

The middleware software market joined most of the rest of the economy in entering the slow lane in 2009, according to a recent report from market researchers at Gartner Inc.

The report, "Market Share: Application Infrastructure and Middleware Software, Worldwide, 2008," examines the AIM market, which includes technologies such as service-oriented architecture (SOA) solutions, business process management suites (BPMSes) and other integration software.

Gartner is projecting a 0.8 percent decline in the AIM market for this year. The market has been affected by the generally declining economy, plus some uncertainty after Oracle's acquisition of BEA last year, according to the report.

IBM led the AIM segment in 2008 with a 30.8 percent market share.

The market shares of its competitors trailed to a large degree, with Oracle holding onto 13.6 percent, BEA with 2.0 percent and Microsoft at 3.6 percent in 2008.

Despite that result, Microsoft has been solidifying its market share in the space via cloud services, according to Fabrizio Biscotti, research director at Gartner.

"They are a fast-growing vendor with a strong focus on the midmarket," said Biscotti in an e-mail. "BizTalk and the portal features of SharePoint are fast-growing and outpacing the market."

The 2009 slowdown is happening despite positive performance in recent years. The overall AIM market generated $15.1 billion in revenues in 2008, up 6.9 percent compared with $14.1 billion in revenues in 2007. Leading technology segments include integration appliances, SOA, governance technologies, BPMS and enterprise service bus suites -- all of which had double -- digit growth in 2008, according to the report.

The largest consumers of AIM technologies are located in North America and Western Europe, according to Gartner. Oracle's acquisition of BEA in April had a "profound effect" on the Asia-Pacific market, which had topped Gartner's previous reports for growth in AIM.

About the Author

Herb Torrens is an award-winning freelance writer based in Southern California. He managed the MCSP program for a leading computer telephony integrator for more than five years and has worked with numerous solution providers including HP/Compaq, Nortel, and Microsoft in all forms of media.