The tech industry is in the midst of a major transition brought about by the combination of four forces. These four forces make up the 3rd Platform for business applications, succeeding client/server (2nd Platform) and mainframes (1st Platform). The 3rd Platform takes applications beyond systems of transaction to systems of decision management and to systems of relationship. This broader scope of applications is aligned with an extended view of business processes that is transforming organizations today. Since the lifetime of an application software package in a business is significant, application buyers need to consider support for the 3rd Platform in evaluating application vendors and their offerings.