Middleware suppliers are prospering despite the downturn, the latest data from analyst Gartner has revealed.
Revenue in the application infrastructure and middleware (AIM) software market totalled $15.1bn worldwide in 2008, a 6.9% increase from 2007.
"Both the slowdown of the economy and the effects of the acquisition of BEA Systems, the second-largest middleware player, by Oracle played a major role in shaping the performance of the market," said Fabrizio Biscotti, research director at Gartner.
"Because of budget cuts, there has been a gradual reduction of spending, with consequent downsizing, delay or cancellation of projects that has undoubtedly hit vendors' revenues. On the other hand, an acquisition of such magnitude has led to the typical uncertainty that always follows major M&A activities. The combined net result of these two factors for the AIM market has been a single-digit growth rate after three consecutive years of double-digit growth."
Gartner said IBM maintained remained the leading supplier of middleware products with 30.8% of the total software revenue in 2008. Oracle moved up to number two middleware provider, followed by Microsoft and Software AG, which in 2008 both gained positions against their immediate competitors.