Database Software Latest Victim of Lackluster Economy

That dastardly U.S. economy has struck again. The economic slowdown is now being blamed for slower growth in the worldwide database management systems (DBMS, definition) software market, according to research by Gartner’s Dataquest.

Worldwide new license revenue in the DBMS market reached $8.8 billion in 2000, a 10 percent increase over 1999 revenue, according to Dataquest Inc. In 1999, worldwide DBMS software revenue grew 18 percent.

“These numbers clearly show how the economic downturn has started taking its toll on the DBMS software market,” said Colleen Graham, industry analyst for Gartner Dataquest’s Information Management Software group. “In 1999, over 51 percent of the vendors had growth in the double-digits. In 2000, only 35 percent of vendors are able to make that claim.”

The top three vendors (Oracle, IBM and Microsoft) accounted for 79 percent of all DBMS software revenue in 2000. Despite continued pressure from IBM, Oracle held onto the No. 1 position with a 33.8 percent market share. Sybase moved into the No. 4 position, while Informix was challenged with management changes and assimilation challenges from its acquisition of Ardent.

Worldwide Database Systems
Software New License Revenue

Market Share Estimates for 2000
Company Market Share
2000 1999
Oracle 33.8% 31.4%
IBM 30.1% 29.9%
Microsoft 14.9% 13.1%
Sybase 3.2% 3.3%
Informix 3.0% 5.0%
Others 15.0% 17.3%
Source: Gartner Dataquest

“The 2000 market share numbers reinforce Gartner’s view that, despite the market consolidation, the DBMS market share wars are far from over,” said Betsy Burton, vice president and research area director for Gartner. “IBM, Microsoft and Oracle will continue to battle for DBMS market dominance with the major influencing factors being ISV and applications support, pricing, depth of OS platform support and DBMS scalability and availability.”

The pre-relational and object database markets suffered negative growth in 2000, while the relational database management systems (RDBMS, definition) software segment grew 15 percent. In fact, RDBMS sales accounted for 80 percent of total DBMS software market.

One of the fiercest battles in the database management market was in the Windows NT platform of the RDBMS segment. Growing 45 percent, Microsoft overtook Oracle by less than one share point, leaving them neck and neck at 38 and 37.3 percent share, respectively. IBM maintained the No. 3 position, as it grew 63 percent and its market share reached 18.5 percent. The overall NT segment increased 34 percent.

The worldwide UNIX RDBMS segment grew 17 percent in 2000, and Oracle continued to lead the market with a 66.2 percent market share. With a renewed focus on UNIX, IBM surpassed Informix to move into the No. 2 position with a 14.4 percent market share, and Informix was the No. 3 vendor with a 6.7 percent market share.

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