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AMR RESEARCH EVALUATES $3 BILLION APP SERVER MARKET.

AMR Research has released a detailed report on the state of the application server market. The report evaluates the main vendors in the space, reflecting interviews with more than 40 of their end user customers. Vendors evaluated include: BEA Systems, Hewlett- Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, and Sybase.

Results reveal that vendors have achieved technical parity across their application server products and, as a result, end users are now looking beyond feature/function to issues such as vendor viability, solution cost, and additional infrastructure investments needed. AMR Research concludes that, as the application server market matures, there will be only four significant players remaining: BEA Systems, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle.

"The application server is a critical component of a company's application infrastructure, overall, and to an effective integration and Enterprise Commerce Management (ECM) strategy," said Lance Travis, Vice President, Core Research Group. "While 75 percent of companies have budgeted for application servers, with 22 percent reporting it as one of their top three IT investments, our analysis shows that users are basing buying decisions on much more than just functionality-which is hurting some players in the space."

The application server has grown into a $3 billion market and will be the software most custom and packaged applications will run on in the future. AMR Research's report analyzes specific vendor claims and helps to validate or reject them based on detailed end user interviews and comprehensive analysis.

The role of the application server is changing and becoming a key part of the overall infrastructure. Vendors are creating application infrastructure portfolios that include portals, integration, business intelligence, caching, personalization, and development tools.

Interviews reveal that application servers create real technology value in the areas of employee self-service, Web-enabled applications, better visibility into the supply chain, information aggregation, and B2B collaboration.

Often ignored in application server analysis, research shows that Microsoft is moving towards becoming the third largest application server provider, and will continue to increase momentum due to a solid .NET strategy.

Selection between Microsoft and J2EE vendors depends on existing infrastructure and IT skills -- not on application server features and functionality.

Some vendors are using a new breed of easy to use development tools to differentiate their application servers allowing application deployment to their company's application server.

Integration is still a major pain point, with certain vendors building the technology to address this issue.

For users, the only way to verify vendor's multiple claims is to engage vendors in a prototype project, which allows testing for development, deployment, and performance of a real application component.

AMR Research conducted in-depth interviews on products and various components of the participating vendors. A survey of more than 200 corporations was also conducted to determine the application servers in use. In addition, five customer references, as well as an extensive Request for Information (RFI), was also required. Additional methodology is included in the report.
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Comment:AMR RESEARCH EVALUATES $3 BILLION APP SERVER MARKET.
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 6, 2002
Words:479
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