The market may be flat for the next few years in the application development and deployment software space, but there is potential for growth if relational database management systems (RDBMS) consolidate functionality, according to a recent report issued by a Toronto-based research firm.

In the report entitled Canadian Application Development and Deployment Software Forecast Update, 2003 to 2007, IDC Canada divided the application development software space into seven submarkets including information and data management software, or RDBMS, and application design – the largest submarket.

While the overall growth rate appears to be relatively moderate, areas such as RDBMS might still have growth opportunities, said Warren Shiau, senior software analyst at IDC Canada Ltd.

“Reducing complexity is a key vendor opportunity. Vendors are adding in more and more functionality outside of the database itself, with more (application development) functionality,” he said, giving the example of RDBMS vendors increasing the bundling of business intelligence tools.

Much of this need for bundling is a result of large organizations deferring system upgrades in 2002. While the application development and deployment software market declined slightly in 2002 from 2001, IDC said it expects RDBMS vendors to increase bundling of product functionality that optimizes, extends or simplifies existing RDBMS offerings, Shiau said.

“I think that this shows a progressive movement towards a lot of functionality being consoli