Yankee Says .NET, Java Empower Dev Integration

A research note from The Yankee Group suggests a promising future for developers who know how to develop and integrate applications using Java and .NET. Yankee's numbers suggest that as much as 50% of all Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)-centric projects may fall away from integrators and into the hands of devs that know how to use Java, .NET and XML-based web services to deliver small-scale integration.

Tags: Integration, Web Services, Managers, Enterprise, Research Note, Developers, Expense,

Enterprise users are buying integration tools to meet application-specific requirements, and application companies are embedding a wider variety of adapters, modeling tools and web services support into their software, according to a study to be released in August by The Yankee Group.

The result: There is a significant shift underway away from complex and expensive EAI (enterprise application integration) spending. It will be replaced in large part by a big boost in sales of tools and applications that enable developers to do more of the integration work.

Jon Derome, Yankee's Business Applications & Commerce practice program manager, author of the research note, said that new tools and technology support in .NET and Java, and related web services technologies such as XML, are making "small-scale integration" feasible, affordable and attractive to many companies that used to rely on massive EAI or ERP (enterprise resource management) integration projects.

Derome specifically noted that Microsoft's BizTalk, BEA's WebLogic Integration J2EE application server and Oracle's 9iAS Integration Server are changing the landscape for how enterprise managers and development managers are planning integration projects. These types of products are encouraging companies to incorporate integration "as a web or functional application component," Derome noted, which means that integration is becoming less an expensive afterthought process, and more of a core part of application development.

Just how dramatic is the trend? Despite protests that certain web services tools, including .NET and Java offerings, are too new to have great impacts, Derome is very bullish on the near-term prospects.

In specific, by the end of next year, The Yankee Group expects 50 percent of all integration software sales will go to business application vendors that provide their own tools and web applications platforms. The winners, Yankee added, will be SAP AG, PeopleSoft and Siebel, Microsoft, IBM, BEA Systems and Oracle. Notably, all the above have dev toolsets and web services add-ons based on Java and/or .NET. The trend will accelerate later in the decade: By 2006, these same firms could have more than 75 percent of all integration software sales, Yankee's note added.

Derome said these trends will be good for both enterprise managers and developers looking to expand their roles to include integration support. "For end users, this market transition will reduce integration labor expense on a per-project basis. The cost reduction will be less significant than an enterprise-wide integration rollout, but savings will be more immediate and attainable," Derome's note said.

To survive, pure-play EAI vendors and integration brokers such as TIBO, WebMethods and others must focus on industries that use extensive proprietary software to manage their business, such as financial services, health care, telecommunications, utilities and government.

The research note is based on The Yankee Group's "2003 Integration Expense Survey," scheduled for release in August.