Oracle consolidated its lead in the overall database management systems (DBMS) software market in 2000, although Microsoft narrowly edged ahead in sales of Windows NT relational DBMS, according to figures released by market analyst Dataquest this week.
Three vendors (Oracle, IBM and Microsoft) were together responsible for 79 per cent of all DBMS sales in 2000 (see Table 1). Oracle strengthened its lead with a 33.8 per cent share of the market, ahead of IBM (30.1 per cent) and Microsoft (14.9 per cent). Informix, struggling during the course of the year with management changes and its acquisition of Ardent, slipped back to fifth place behind Sybase, Dataquest said in a statement.
IBM said in April it will acquire Informix's database business, Informix Software, in a cash transaction valued at $US1 billion.
The overall market for DBMS grew slower last year than in previous years, as a result of the downturn in the US economy in the middle of the year, with worldwide new licence revenue reaching $8.8 billion, up 10 per cent year on year. In 1999, licence revenue grew 18 per cent, Dataquest said.
Within that overall market, sales of pre-relational and object database software shrunk compared to the previous year.
The market for all relational DBMS grew 15 per cent, accounting for 80 per cent of the overall DMBS market, Dataquest said.
On a platform-by-platform basis, sales of RDBMS for the Windows NT platform grew the fastest, at 34 per cent year on year. Here, Oracle and Microsoft went head to head, with Microsoft taking a slight lead with 38.0 per cent of the market for Windows NT RDBMS, compared to Oracle's 37.3 per cent share, according to Dataquest figures.
On the Unix platform, Oracle remained ahead, with 66.2 per cent of the market for Unix RDBMS, followed by IBM (14.4 per cent) and Informix (6.7 per cent).
Dataquest predicts that the fight for market dominance is far from over, with the big three continuing to do battle in the fields of vendor and applications support, pricing, platform support, scalability and availability.