IBM Takes Top Spot From BEA In J2EE App-Servers

IBM surpassed BEA Systems last year for leadership in the J2EE application-server space, according to a new IDC estimate.

May 12, 2004

2 Min Read
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IBM surpassed BEA Systems last year for leadership in the J2EE application-server space, according to a new IDC estimate.

The research firm estimated that IBM sold $630 million worth of licenses and services into the J2EE app server market in 2003, which was up 6.4 percent from the prior year, according to a report made available to IDC clients.

IBM WebSphere Application Server held a 29.2 percent share of the market, the IDC report stated. Last year, IDC had reported that IBM tied BEA as the market leader in 2002 with a 27.5 percent share. BEA came in second in the new report with $566.9 million in license and services revenue, a number that represents a 26.3 percent share of the market. According to IDC, BEA's app-server revenues were down 4.6 percent from 2002.

According to IDC, BEA, San Jose, Calif., has led or shared the top spot for the J2EE app-server market since analysts began tracking the category in 2001. However, market-share numbers from another research firm, the Gartner Group, put IBM in front of the market in 2002, with 37 percent market share to BEA's 29 percent. Gartner is expected to unveil numbers soon that show IBM continued to lead J2EE app-server market share in 2003.

Oracle, Redwood Shores, Calif., came in a strong third in the new IDC report with 19.4 percent market share, with Oracle 9iAS license and services revenue up 15 percent year over year. According to IDC, Sun Microsystems lagged in a distant fourth place with 3.5 percent market share; the Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor's application-server revenue was down 15 percent from 2002 despite the introduction of a Java software strategy overhaul in 2003, according to IDC.The IDC figures reporting that IBM has overtaken BEA in app-server revenue comes as little surprise. Aside from the fact that Gartner put IBM ahead of BEA in 2002, observers and solution providers have long predicted IBM would eventually pull ahead of BEA in app-server market share and stay in the top spot, not necessarily because its WebSphere product was better than BEA WebLogic but because of the Somers, N.Y.-based vendor's sheer size and reach.

The new IDC report wasn't all bad news for BEA, however. The vendor gained significant traction in the integration software space, growing revenue 103 percent to $147 million last year and capturing a fourth-place, 7 percent share of the market.

The jump was impressive, considering BEA just released its second version of WebLogic Integration, its EAI software product, in August 2003.

IBM grabbed the top spot as well in the integration software market with 17.4 percent share and $322 million in license and services revenue for 2003, according to IDC. IBM's closest competitor, Tibco, came in second with 9.1 percent market share, and webMethods came in a close third with an 8 percent share of the market.

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