Middleware Sales Continue to Grow in 2005, IBM Still the King
June 19, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The analysts at Gartner say that the market for application integration and middleware software is experiencing a lot of upheavals, with big architecture changes and lots of vendors entering and leaving the market, but that despite all that turmoil, the market managed to grow by 7.1 percent to reach a total of $8.5 billion in sales.
IBM, which used to be neck-and-neck with BEA Systems with each of them having about a third revenue share, has continued to grow at the market’s pace, and has been able to take dominant market share. However, even still, IBM’s share of the market was down a smidgen, as it only raked in a little less than $3.2 billion in application integration and middleware sales last year, up 6.7 percent. BEA’s share of the market went down a bit too as its growth was only 6 percent, with $1.2 billion in sales. Oracle, having acquired so few large and small application providers, has gotten its application server and middleware act together, and being the dominant database provider in the world, grew its middleware sales by a stunning 39.6 percent to hit $739 million in sales. Microsoft, the number four vendor, booked $397 million in sales, an increase of 13.4 percent over 2004’s sales levels, but still yielding only a 4.7 percent share of the total market. Tibco, a vendor of integration middleware that is popular among financial institutions, had $314 million in sales, up 8.5 percent. Sales for all other vendors was flat, but accounted for $2.7 billion in sales, or about 31 percent of the market.
The one name not on that list, of course, is the JBoss unit of Red Hat, which Gartner estimates had sales of application servers of about $4.5 million in 2005, up 29 percent. JBoss doesn’t make a lot of revenue–yet–but it has distributed 10 million copies of its software. This is a vast, potential customer base for future service sales. By contrast, BEA WebLogic was the top of the app server heap, with $607 million in sales, just edging out IBM WebSphere, with $589 million in sales. IBM sold some $1.25 billion in transaction monitors, $491 million in message-oriented middleware, $387 million in integration software, and $268 million in portals, among other categories. And Big Blue utterly dominated each of these areas.
It will be interesting to see how the open source pressure changes this.
“The application integration and middleware market is in a volatile phase because integration design patterns and technology are evolving rapidly,” explained Joanne Correia, the research vice president at Gartner who did the report. “Software suppliers are making fundamental changes in their product architectures, embracing standards, and verticalizing their offerings. New suppliers are entering the market, and weaker players have disappeared at a high rate. This complicates the task of application architects who must deal with shifting technology, supplier turnover and their own learning curves.”