Enterprise integration still includes typical middleware technologies such as message queues, message brokering, transformations, transaction processing, and legacy integration. But integration planning has moved beyond simply automating processes and connecting systems. The benefits of collaboration and consistent business processes have stimulated interest in more comprehensive integration architectures and methods for leveraging internal and external information resources such as customers, suppliers, and the Web.

The ARC Advisory Group predicts that the market will experience a nearly 20 percent compound annual growth rate through 2006, as Graph 2 shows. The emergence of business-process-management products, the acceptance and performance of Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), and the debut of Microsoft's .NET initiative will fuel that growth.