According to IDC, the top ranking vendors of application deployment software for 2004 remained the same as in 2003, with IBM, BEA, and Oracle holding shares of 37%, 12%, and 7%, respectively. Looking specifically at Linux- and Unix-based application deployment software, BEA continued to hold market-share lead in both. IBM continued to lead on Windows, mainframe, and OS/400 platforms, and maintained a wide overall lead primarily due to its popular transaction-server and message-oriented middleware. Oracle experienced strong growth overall at a rate of twice the market average.
The worldwide application deployment software market, which includes application, Web, and integration servers; message-oriented and transaction-server middleware; and all associated adapters/connectors/gateways, grew 6.4% in 2004 to reach just under $7 bln in software revenues. IDC expects this worldwide market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7% through 2009. Despite this growth, the question still remains whether application deployment software will become a fulcrum for major future growth into the next decade, or whether the industry will revert to burying middleware down inside operating software and/or packaged applications.