Internet Apps Propel Database Market

Thanks to the growth of new Internet applications and rising demand for business intelligence applications, the worldwide database software market had a strong year in 1999, with revenue reaching almost $8 billion, an 18 percent increase over 1998 revenue, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner Group, Inc. Dataquest analysts said it appears Year 2000 concerns had limited impact on database spending.

“Oracle and IBM are still in virtually neck and neck for the top position in the overall database market,” said Norma Schroder, senior analyst for Dataquest’s Database and Data Warehousing Software Worldwide program. In the relational database segment, which accounts for more than three-quarters of the total database market, Oracle remained the market leader with about a 10-point lead, the same as last year.

“Oracle, despite its large base, had vigorous database new license growth of 19 percent driven by its new positioning as an Internet platform and by strength in its CRM and e-commerce enterprise applications business,” said Schroder. “IBM had a robust year, with strength on the mainframe platform, a spurt of almost 70 percent growth in its relational Unix database products and a 125 percent growth in its NT relational database products. Microsoft came roaring back this year in the relational NT segment, driven by its new version of SQL Server 7.0.”

The worldwide database industry is forecast to reach $12.7 billion by 2004, with NT platform revenue almost equaling Unix platform revenue by then. Dataquest analysts said the market will be driven by Internet-related applications, electronic commerce, content management, integrated business intelligence, and new mobile consumer and mobile business applications.

“Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft will be the dominant players, but there is still plenty of room for vendors that can cater to niche application areas or industry-specific markets,” Schroder said. “A new niche we’re seeing is start-ups catering to the ASP/hosting market with low-cost, high-performance data solutions tailored for Web data, rather than OLTP data.”


1999 Worldwide Database New
License Revenue Market Share
Company 1999 Market
Share (%)
1998 Market
Share (%)
Oracle 31.1 30.7
IBM 29.9 30.0
Microsoft 13.1 10.7
Informix 4.3 4.8
Sybase 3.3 3.6
Others 18.3 20.2
Total Market 100.0 100.0
Source: Dataquest/Gartner Group

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