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Application deployment grows leisurely

IBM, BEA and Oracle continue to dominate the $7 billion market, according to IDC.

The $7 billion market for application deployment software will grow slowly but steadily through 2007, market researcher IDC predicts in a new report.

The application deployment sector--which encompasses a range of technologies, including Web, integration and application server software, along with message-oriented, transaction-server and access-integration middleware--will increase by roughly 4 percent annually during the next three years, IDC said in the report released Tuesday.

That growth closely mirrors the 4.4 percent gain that IDC tracked in the sector in 2003.

Framingham, Mass.-based IDC reported that companies tapping into the burgeoning segment were the same ones that have staked a claim to the market in previous years, such as IBM, BEA Systems and Oracle. According to the latest numbers, IBM led the application deployment business in 2003, accounting for just under 36 percent of all sales, followed by BEA, which had 11.5 percent market share, and Oracle, which garnered 5.9 percent of the sector.

Another aspect of the application deployment market highlighted by IDC is the continued interest in Linux and Unix-based tools, of which BEA was the top provider last year. However, the report said Oracle was able to expand its Linux and Unix deployment software business at nearly three times the rate that the entire market expanded.

Among the factors contributing to IDC's predicted growth for adoption of application deployment tools are the continued popularity of heterogeneous computing environments, replacement of aging mainframe and IBM OS/400 systems, developers' movement toward more advanced platforms, and demand for business process automation systems.