Application infrastructure and middleware software – additional information
Application infrastructure and middleware (AIM) software is a family of programs that often sit between an operating system and two or more distributed or independent applications. Its purpose is to streamline the transmission of data and the use of protocols, allowing various, higher-level programs to communicate. This may include the conversion or translation of data from one format to another or provide a consolidating or integrating service. In larger enterprises, AIM software is particularly important for providing interoperability between mainframe applications and client/server-side applications, as well as facilitating cross-platform communication. Overall, the AIM software market currently generates global annual revenues of around 24 billion U.S. dollars.
Two of the largest companies in this segment are IBM and Oracle. Of IBM's annual revenue, which amounts to some 82 billion U.S. dollars, approximately 7 percent stems from the sale and support of application infrastructure and middleware software. The proportion of Oracle's annual revenue that comes from AIM software is similar, sitting at about 8 percent of the company's turnover. TIBCO, the smallest company in the top five, specializes in integration software and middleware, and thus earns the majority of its revenue from this segment.
In recent years, due to its important role in information technology integration, application infrastructure and middleware software has helped enable a variety of modern IT initiatives, such as big data and analytics, cloud computing, and mobile IT. However, as traditional AIM solutions begin to show their age, many organizations are also extending their integration capabilities through Platform as a Service solutions, which in many cases offer greater deployment flexibility. One forecast suggested that AIM cloud services would exceed 1.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, which would be equivalent to around 8 percent of the market.