META Group, Inc.’s latest METAspectrum evaluates vendors whose products enable access to and integration of legacy data streams via interception of the streams using a thin-client approach. Commonly referred to as Web-to-host products, these offerings typically enable integration of data into "newer" applications as well as the ability to remotely access legacy data. According to META Group, more than 90 percent of large organizations will utilize host access products that externalize legacy applications via Web services by 2007.

"We expect host access products to continue playing an important role for large organizations externalizing legacy applications," said Mark Vanston, program director with META Group's Enterprise Data Center Strategies service. "Web-to-host access solutions can reduce the cost of legacy integration, enabling organizations to leverage existing assets and capitalize on new IT opportunities."

Legacy externalization efforts will continue to be dominated by tactical, point-like application integration products with new presentation interfaces. However, demand for highly scalable e-commerce solutions primarily driven by Web services that leverage transactional legacy mainframe systems will propel screen-based data integration in the next two years. Organizations now face the difficult task of transitioning away from traditional emulation products, toward a Web services model.

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