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Gartner fellow: 'No pure-play portal market in five years'

Application platform suites that combine portals, integration brokers and application servers are quickly developing as a new product category that will change the software landscape, said a Gartner analyst. "The pure plays can't keep their silos anymore," said David McCoy, newly minted Gartner fellow, referring to vendors that have specialized in portal, integration broker or application server solutions. Moves by major app server vendors seem to bear this out.

McCoy spoke at a Boston event sponsored by BEA Systems. Not incidentally, that company has focused on application integration with recent versions of its flagship WebLogic app server product. Besides BEA, McCoy posited IBM, Oracle, Sun, SeeBeyond, PeopleSoft, Sybase, Microsoft, SAP, Novell and others as potential providers of application platform suites.

Portal, app server and integration broker markets are "under extreme dynamics," said McCoy. The portal players, he contends, will be the first to feel the pain points. "There will be no pure-play portal market in five years. Portals will get subsumed into other things," he said.

"Software is going from point products to suites," said McCoy, who drew analogies with automotive design in recent years. "Today's vehicle may be a 'van plus a car.' Or it is a 'car plus a van.' The world wants combined functionality," he explained.

Even if the application platform suite comes to pass, application development managers will still have their hands full. "Development doesn't become less important, but it is a new type of development that is much more focused on integration," said McCoy, who pointed to service-oriented development architectures as an emerging trend meeting development needs in this space.

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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