A high rate of technological innovation, coupled with the escalating business requirements for integration will drive the worldwide application integration, middleware and portal markets to grow from $5.1 billion in 2001 to $10.5 billion by 2006, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc.. In 2002, the market is projected to reach nearly $6 billion, a 16.6 percent increase from 2001 revenue.

"The demand for application integration and middleware (AIM) and portals will be strong because the integration challenge will continue into the foreseeable future. This will be driven by the globalization of business, mergers and acquisitions, and the fundamental business requirements to reach out and maintain new customers, partners and suppliers," said Joanne Correia, vice president for Gartner Dataquest's Software Industry Research group. "It will also be driven by the need for cost control and business process streamlining and optimization."

Application servers, portal software and integration brokers from major software vendors are merging into a new class of e-business platform software that Gartner Dataquest calls application platform suites (APS). With this merger of applications, there will be further consolidation in the software industry and increased competition among vendors.

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