IBM has overtaken Oracle to regain its lead in the database software market, according to preliminary research released earlier this week by Dataquest.
IBM moved into the top slot thanks to strong sales of its System 390 and AS/400 systems, as well as "dramatic growth" for DB2 on Unix and Windows NT platforms, said Dataquest, which is based in San Jose.
In 1997 Oracle toppled Big Blue from the top position in the database market. But in 1998 IBM's world-wide share of new license revenues reached 32.3 per cent, up from 28.9 per cent in 1997. Over the same period, Oracle's share dropped from 29.4 per cent to 29.3 per cent, according to Dataquest.
While Oracle lost the top spot overall, it still leads the relational database management systems segment, as well as leading on the Unix and Windows NT platforms, Carolyn DiCenzo, director and principal analyst for Dataquest's database and data warehousing software world-wide program, said in a statement.
Dataquest also found that world-wide database sales didn't slow last year, despite fears that companies would freeze their spending in anticipation of year 2000 problems. World-wide sales revenues in 1998 increased 15 per cent over the previous year, to $US7.1 billion, Dataquest's preliminary figures show.
Microsoft, Informix and Sybase kept their respective third, fourth and fifth place rankings in terms of share of new license revenues, Dataquest said.
The database business is expected to be worth $US10 billion by 2003, driven by Internet-related applications, electronic commerce, content management, and the need to support remote and mobile workers.
While IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft will be the dominant players, "there is still plenty of room for vendors that can cater to niche application areas or industry-specific markets", Dataquest's DiCenzo said.
Additional information on the database market is available in the Dataquest perspective World-wide DBMS Preliminary Market Statistics: 1998.