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Historically customers have acquired their middleware software on a vertically-integrated basis from one or a few category-dominant vendors. However, a customer revolution in service-oriented architecture (SOA) and service-oriented infrastructure (SOI), combined with ever more complex business needs, has driven customers to a multi-sourced middleware component architecture. As these market mechanics have evolved over the last decade, the middleware market is moving from single-sourced, tightly-coupled, vertically integrated middleware, to multi-sourced, loosely-coupled, vertically aware application and middleware stacks. While multi-sourcing allows customers to apply the latest middleware innovation to their business, it comes at the price of exploding complexity, as they manage many more combinations of available and applicable software components.
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