BEA Systems held a wide lead in the Unix and Linux portions of the application server software market in North America in 2003, but its overall revenues in this market shrank by 4.3 percent while IBM's grew by 6.4 percent, according to a report released this month by IDC and obtained by InfoWorld.
BEA still is the application server software market share leader in North America, however, with 30.6 percent of the market compared to 27.6 percent for IBM, according to IDC.
On Linux systems, BEA revenues grew 166.2 percent, from $15.7 million in 2002 to $41.8 in 2003, giving BEA a 25.2 market share for application servers on Linux last year. But IBM also grew, from $7.6 million in 2002 to $19 million in last year, a growth rate of 148.3 that gave the company a market share of 11.5 percent in Linux.
Oracle’s market share on Linux was 10.3 percent in 2003. But revenues grew 122.4 percent from $7.7 million to $17.1 million. JBoss Group, which offers its application server through a free, open source format but sells maintenance services, saw its Linux revenues grow from $300,000 in 2002 to $2 million 2003, a growth rate of 614.2 percent, according to the report.
In Unix, BEA had 40.1 percent of the Unix market last year, far ahead of IBM, with 18.8 percent of the market. But BEA’s Unix revenues dropped 13.4 percent in Unix, to $225.3 million as opposed to $260.2 million in 2002.
The author of the report explained that apples-to-apples comparisons in the application server market can be misleading. “Oracle bundles its integration server and even its portal into what it calls an application server,” said author Dennis Byron, business process automation and deployment software research analyst at IDC.
“I think the strategy of bundling together their integration server and application server products is a good one,” Byron said. “[Oracle is] the best one at looking at what Microsoft is doing in this market and trying to react to it.”
Byron cited a June IDC media release that reported 4.4 percent growth to slightly more than $7 billion in the worldwide application deployment software market, which includes application, Web and integration servers, and message-oriented, transaction-server and access-integration middleware. When looking at Linux- and Unix-based application deployment software markets, BEA continued to hold leads in both. Oracle, however, grew at a rate of three times the market average, according to IDC.
Overall on all operating environments, revenues for application server software by BEA in North America reported in the July study were down from $313.8 million in 2002 to $300.5 million last year. BEA had application server software revenues of $319.1 million in 2001. IBM has seen application server revenues grow from $204.6 million in 2001 to $254.6 million in 2002 and $270.9 million in 2003.
Coming in third was Oracle, which had a 17.4 market share and saw total North American revenues grow 11.2 percent in 2003 to $170.8 million. The company had application server sales of $153.6 million in 2002 and $156.4 in 2001. Behind Oracle was Sun, with 4.9 percent market share, a drop of 10.9 percent. Sun has seen revenues slip from $105 million in 2002 to $54 million in 2002 and $48.1 million last year. IDC attributes this to pricing and bundling strategies at Sun, including integrating software packages together as one system.