Gartner Identifies Five Application Integration Trends That Are Changing Business Applications

Analysts Examine the Future of Application Integration During Gartner Application Integration and Web Services Summit, June 19-21, in San Diego

STAMFORD, CONN., June 19, 2006 – Managers must not underestimate the extent of the changes occurring in application architecture just because they are gradual and sometimes unintentional, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner analysts identified five application trends that are changing business applications.

“The state of the art in application design and application integration is undergoing a transition because of escalating demands from the business side of the enterprise,” said Roy Schulte, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “Companies want to modify their applications more quickly, but find themselves saddled with huge investments in hard-to-change legacy systems. They need to adapt their systems and implement new applications that are better suited to ongoing modification.”

Mr. Schulte examined the five application trends that are changing business applications during the opening keynote here today at the Gartner Application Integration and Web Services Summit. These trends include:

  1. Service-oriented architecture and event-driven architecture are becoming the dominant design styles for business applications. The refactoring of applications from monolithic structures (where all software components are designed to operate only in the initially intended context) to sets of SOA modules (service consumers and providers) and EDA modules (source and sinks) is under way. “This architectural transformation is driving a significant change in middleware infrastructure as well,” Mr. Schulte said. “New forms of middleware, especially enterprise service buses (ESBs) and application platform suites (APSs) are coming into wider use to support the needs of SOA and EDA applications.”

  2. Every large company will acquire one or more ESBs; some will be independent products; however, most will be embedded in other products. By year-end 2006, more than half of all large companies will have the equivalent of an ESB running somewhere on their system. ESBs support all the major communication patterns, including request/reply, one-way messaging and more-complex message exchange patterns (MEPs).

  3. Best practice is becoming common practice: Integration logic, including high-level process flow, is being separated from presentation, business and data logic in most large new systems. “Application architects and developers should separate integration logic from endpoint business application logic at all stages of modeling, development, deployment, management and maintenance to maximize agility and minimize complexity,” Mr. Schulte said.

  4. Middleware appliances will affect the market, sometimes complementing and sometimes competing against transformation engines, ESBs, integration suites, security software and application suites. By 2008, more than 40 percent of large businesses will deploy a middleware appliance. “Leading-edge projects that need high throughput, low latency and robust distributed computing features should sometimes consider middleware appliances to complement, and elsewhere to replace, transformation, security, integration suites and other integration middleware,” Mr. Schulte said.

  5. Event processing will greatly improve real-time insight into business operations and enable better sense-and-respond systems. “Events help make application software more flexible and maintainable through software engineering that uses uncoupled relationships among modules,” Mr. Schulte said. “They also enable more sophisticated and more-current understanding of business conditions via complex-event processing (CEP).”

Gartner analysts are providing detailed analysis on the future of application integration at the Gartner Application Integration and Web Services Summit 2006 taking place June 19-21 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina in San Diego.

The Gartner Application Integration and Web Services Summit is designed to help enterprises prepare for the challenges of the changing nature of software infrastructure and what it means for integration, Web services and architecture initiatives. This summit hits the critical spot between the strategic planning and tactical advice IT organizations need to benchmark strategies on Web services security, SOA, EDA, ESB, application process and data integration, standards and more. Additional information is available at

Co-located with the Application Integration and Web Services Summit is the Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit taking place June 21-23. This summit is designed to help enterprises prepare for the most pressing issues that enterprise architects face today, including how to align IT with business priorities, the new and emerging roles in the architected enterprise, measuring and justifying the value of EA and how to use business, information and technology architectures to deliver real capabilities to the business. Additional agenda and special “combo” pricing information is available at

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