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According to a new Gartner report, the worldwide application development (AD) software market is expected to cross $9 billion in 2012, an increase of 1.8 percent over 2011. The report said that the growth will be driven by developing software delivery models, new development methodologies, emerging mobile application development and open source software.

The spend on application development software in Australia is expected to reach $153.4 million in 2012, up 5 percent over 2011, the report added.

"Application modernization and increasing agility will continue to be a solid driver for AD spending, apart from other emerging dynamics of cloud, mobility and social computing," said Asheesh Raina, principal research analyst at Gartner. "These emerging trends are directing AD demand towards newer architectures, programming languages, business model and user skills."

According to a new Gartner report titled, "Market Trends: Application Development Software, Worldwide, 2012-2016," cloud is changing the way applications are designed, tested and deployed, resulting in a significant shift in AD priorities.

Cost is a major driver, but also agility, flexibility and speed to deploy new applications. The report said that 90 percent of large, mainstream enterprises and government agencies will use some aspect of cloud computing by 2015.

Gartner also predicted that mobile application development projects targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber native PC projects by a ratio of 4:1 by 2015. Emerging mobile applications, systems and devices are transforming the AD space rapidly, and are one of the top three CIO priorities at the enterprise level.

Gartner research found that CIOs expect more than 20 percent of their employees to use tablets instead of laptops by 2013.

Gartner believed that open source software would also be a major contributor to the AD growth by continuing to broaden its presence and create pressure on market leaders during the next three to five years. The research firm predicted that at least 70 percent of the new enterprise Java applications will be deployed on an open source Java application server by the end of 2017.

"Open source software tools will continue to erode revenue for some AD categories in design, testing and Web development," said Raina.

"This is being driven primarily by the success of Eclipse and NetBeans, as well as by overall revitalization of the market by new small software providers looking for technical and market disruptive approaches for offering products."