This month's column was contributed by David Mavashev, CEO and co-founder of Nastel.

Business integration continues to be a major focus area for many companies as market forces change, new opportunities emerge and firms strive to achieve a level of business agility that can crush competition and seize market share and growth. Meanwhile, the marketplace for integration middleware continues to be in a state of flux, with mature, established integration vendors such as IBM, webMethods and TIBCO facing competition from heavyweight competitors such as Microsoft and BEA and also from emerging vendors in new-technology areas such as the enterprise service bus (ESB), smart enterprise suites, lightweight process integration and open source initiatives.

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