The J2EE application server market has therefore remained dynamic, particularly as organisations demand lower price points, improved implementation services and support, and increased productivity.
During the next two to three years, the J2EE container at the heart of all application servers will continue to standardise and ultimately commoditise. As a result, competition in this space is increasingly centred on vendors' abilities to deliver a broader platform outside core J2EE support (in areas such as Web services, application development, enterprise application integration, business process automation, portals, and content management), in order to expand their footprints within strategic accounts.
Across the region, we expect market growth to increasingly concentrate around three main players (BEA, IBM, and Oracle) and a relatively stable number of additional niche players.
Bottom line: As convergence continues in areas like pricing and J2EE support, organisations should expand evaluation criteria to include vendor/platform support for advanced features (Web services support), deployment options (advanced clustering, runtime management), and availability of add-ons (portal, integration).
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